St Andrew, Apostle – 30 Nov
November 29, 2016
He was born in Bethsaida, in Galilee, and worked as a fisherman. He may have been a disciple of St John the Baptist. He became one of the first to follow Jesus and introduced his brother, Simon Peter, to him. As one of the twelve Apostles he was widely venerated in ancient times, and became patron saint of Scotland because according to legend some of his bones were brought there and buried at the place where the town of St Andrew’s now stands.
A sermon of St John Chrysostom on St John’s gospel
We have found the Messiah
After Andrew had stayed with Jesus and had learned much from him, he did not keep this treasure to himself, but hastened to share it with his brother. Notice what Andrew said to him: We have found the Messiah, that is to say, the Christ. Notice how his words reveal what he has learned in so short a time. They show the power of the master who has convinced them of this truth. They reveal the zeal and concern of men preoccupied with this question from the very beginning. Andrew’s words reveal a soul waiting with the utmost longing for the coming of the Messiah, looking forward to his appearing from heaven, rejoicing when he does appear, and hastening to announce so great an event to others. To support one another in the things of the spirit is the true sign of good will between brothers, of loving kinship and sincere affection.
Notice, too, how, even from the beginning, Peter is docile and receptive in spirit. He hastens to Jesus without delay. He brought him to Jesus, says the evangelist. But Peter must not be condemned for his readiness to accept Andrew’s word without much weighing of it. It is probable that his brother had given him, and many others, a careful account of the event; the evangelists, in the interest of brevity, regularly summarise a lengthy narrative. Saint John does not say that Peter believed immediately, but that he brought him to Jesus. Andrew was to hand him over to Jesus, to learn everything for himself. There was also another disciple present, and he hastened with them for the same purpose.
When John the Baptist said: This is the Lamb, and he baptizes in the Spirit, he left the deeper understanding of these things to be received from Christ. All the more so would Andrew act in the same way, since he did not think himself able to give a complete explanation. He brought his brother to the very source of light, and Peter was so joyful and eager that he would not delay even for a moment.
Reflection by Deacon Derek Walcott
Matthew’s main agenda for us in this Gospel is to paint a picture for us of what all true discipleship requires. To leave everything behind and follow God. He also teaches us that God comes to meet us where we are.
Today as we meditate on this great Saint, Andrew the Apostle we need to reflect on the other Gospels where he is mentioned. In the first three gospels Andrew is not mentioned except in lists of the Twelve. But in John’s gospel he appears three times, and in each case he is introducing other people to Jesus! First of all, his brother, Simon Peter. Then in John 6:8 he is bringing forward a boy with five loves and two fish. And in John 12:20-22 he is bringing some Greeks to Jesus. Meanwhile he himself managed to remain almost invisible. Andrew introduced his brother Simon (Peter) to Jesus (1:40). Yet it was Peter, not Andrew, who came to be in the inner circle, “Peter, James and John.” Andrew is regularly described as “the brother of Simon Peter” (Matthew 10:2; Lk 6:14). Yet nowhere does he show any resentment about this.
It is rare enough to find people who are willing to be invisible, or to take the second place. How good it would be if the only thing that people could remember about us is that we brought people to Jesus!
Dear Lord, teach us to be like Andrew who brought people to you and lived the words. ” Let me decrease and you increase.”