On Wednesday, November 30th, we celebrated the feast of a one of my favorite saints, Andrew the Apostle. As with many of the Apostles, we don’t know a lot of details about Andrew’s personal life. In John’s Gospel we learn that he was a disciple of John the Baptist who directed Andrew to follow Jesus. Upon spending the day with Jesus, Andrew went and told his brother and fishing partner, Simon Peter, that he had found the Lord. When Jesus saw the two fishing he said to them, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him (Mt. 4:19). We also learn that Andrew introduced to Jesus the boy who offered his five loaves and two fish which Jesus would bless and multiply to feed five thousand (John 6:8-10). Andrew also acted as a liaison introducing certain Greeks who were interested in speaking with Jesus (Jn 12:10-22).
In St. Andrew we see someone who was seeking to live a more authentic life. No one became a disciple of the rugged, prophetic John the Baptist and then of Jesus unless he was willing to confront some serious truths about his own life! In St. Andrew we also see a disciple of joyful humility. He couldn’t contain his joy in meeting Christ and told his brother, and then he would take a backseat, so to speak, as his brother Peter rose in leadership. In St. Andrew we see someone who acted as an instrument or bridge allowing others to come in contact with the Lord.
Perhaps we might make it a focus of our Advent preparation to emulate St. Andrew. First, we might take time to evaluate whether we are truly seeking to live a more authentic Christian life. Like those who went out into the desert and participated in John’s baptism of repentance, we might avail ourselves of the cleansing grace of our Lord given us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. What a wonderful way to make room in our hearts and our lives to receive the gift of the Lord’s presence anew this Christmas.
Next, we might take some time to reflect on the level of joy we carry within and show to others as disciples of Christ. Do we overflow with it and want others to share in it? Are we in humble awe that we have been invited to share in the Lord’s presence and mission?
Finally, we might look at how we might more fully be an instrument of introducing others to Christ. Perhaps it could mean talking to our children or grandchildren about what our relationship with the Lord means to us. Perhaps it could mean a re-introduction of our adult children or even our spouse to the Lord through a more full participation in Mass and the sacraments. Maybe we can identify and pray for someone we know who has become estranged from the Lord and his Church. Maybe we can invite someone to Christmas Mass with us.
Andrew was a fisherman who knew that life was about much more than his daily tasks. Through his intercession let us be open to the Lord’s invitation to each of us at this point in our lives.
Have a blessed Advent week,