Thursday, November 30, 2006

St. Andrew

Today is the Feast of St. Andrew. We know very little about this man. What we do know is that he was a humble man who is continally seen bringing people to Jesus. Like most of the apostles, he preached the Gospel and established the Church in many places, finishing his life as a martyr. Tradition says he was crucified on an X shaped cross.

There is an incident recorded in the first chapter of John's Gospel that reflects to me so much of who Andrew was. We see there that he was an early disciple of John the Baptist. One day when John saw Jesus, he procaimed, "Behold, the Lamb of God." Andrew heard that and began to follow Jesus.

Andrew was joined by another disciple who is not named. Many believe it is John himself. When Jesus sees them following, He asks, "What are you seeking?" They responded that they wanted to know where He was staying. He invited them to "Come and see!"

Later Andrew goes to find his brother, Simon. He tells him that they have found the Messiah. Simon goes with Andrew and when he comes to Jesus is renamed by Him as Peter.

The first thing I see in this story is Andrew's purity. He longs for God. He wants to follow someone who will lead him closer to God. For a while that was John the Baptist. But he eventually saw that it needed to be Jesus. His seeking of the Lord is so simple and pure.

Secondly, he is an evangelist from the beginning. He does not wait until he has it all figured out, or he has received a formal education. He begins with what he knows. He is overjoyed at what he has found. So he shares it with others. He begins with those closest to him. He is not stopped by the thought of how he may be ridiculed or rejected. He simply lets his joy overflow in the simple message that "we have found the Messiah."

I long for Andrew's spirit. I want such pure, simple, seeking after Jesus. My motives are not always so. I want such dedication. I want such zeal. I want to be one who joyfully overflows with the message that "we have found the Messiah."

On this Feast of St. Andrew those are the things that are in my heart. May we be inspired by his life, and helped by his prayers to imitate such things by the Grace of God!

The world is in need of a whole generation of Andrews. May they arise quickly to bring the masses to Jesus!


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