Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle

Today, November 30, is the Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle.

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.
                                                                                                Matthew 4:18-22
Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter, but he was the first to meet Jesus. He was a disciple of John the Baptist and was present when John pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God. Andrew and an unnamed disciple of John’s began following Jesus, when the Lord turned and asked what they were looking for. They asked Jesus where He was staying. Jesus replied, “Come and see.” Andrew and the other disciple stayed with Jesus for most of that day. Afterwards, he found his brother, Simon Peter, and announced, “We have found the Messiah.” Andrew then introduced Simon Peter to Jesus. The rest, as they say, is history.
Various sources report that Andrew preached in Scythia, Thrace, Achaea, along the Black Sea and the Dnieper River as far as Kiev, and on to Novgorod. Because of these traditions, Andrew is the patron saint of Ukraine, Romania, and Russia. Tradition says that in AD 38 Andrew founded the See of Byzantium (which later became Constantinople and, after the Muslim conquest, Istanbul).
Tradition holds that St. Andrew was martyred by crucifixion in the city of Patras in Achaea. The Basilica of St. Andrew in Patras holds his relics. The earliest traditions recount his martyrdom on a Latin cross, but the tradition developed that he was crucified on an X-shaped cross, now called “St. Andrew’s cross.” St. Andrew’s cross has been incorporated into a number of national flags, including those of England and Scotland. He is also the patron of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, being honored as the founding bishop of that See.
Clearly, Andrew was a man of faith before he met Jesus. Being a disciple of St. John the Baptist, he certainly yearned for a deeper relationship with God, which is what drew him to the banks of the Jordan to listen to John. When John pointed to the One Who was greater than he, Andrew did not hesitate to turn to Jesus and follow Him. Convinced that he had found the One he had been looking for, he was eager to share this good news with his brother, Simon Peter. Then, when Jesus called both Simon Peter and Andrew to leave their nets behind, they did not hesitate. They dropped everything to follow Jesus. Their encounter with Jesus changed everything.
That is the great mystery of Andrew’s life, and the great lesson. When you meet Jesus, it changes everything. Or, it ought to. If it doesn’t, what does that say about how committed we are? Servant of God Dorothy Day, whom I posted about yesterday, said, “We admit to being fools for Christ, and wish that we were more so.” Andrew was a fool for Christ. He met Jesus and left all else behind. He was a man who truly sold everything to buy the field in which lay the treasure. He gave it all for his Lord. May we be so foolish!
We humbly implore your majesty, O Lord, that, just as the blessed Apostle Andrew was for your Church a preacher and pastor, so he may be for us a constant intercessor before you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
                                                                                  — collect prayer for the Feast of St. Andrew
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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