Feast of St Andrew, Apostle
Response: 19.1-2, 3-4ab (R.4a)
In Paul’s letter today there is a poetic challenge: Essentially Paul asks how people can come to believe in Jesus unless someone evangelizes them. This is the specific call of an apostle (one who is sent).
While there are legends about Andrew and where he was sent, what we do know about his pre-missionary ministry is instructive about what he might have done and what he might have said.
Like Peter, Andrew is described as a fisherman, but by the time he met Jesus, he was more than that. He was a seeker, already a disciple of John the Baptist. He is the first person recorded in the gospel to be invited by Jesus to follow him. Since Jesus too had been a disciple of John, this invitation may have followed some discussions between them.
Andrew was able to persuade his brother to investigate a new opportunity, and this it seems was a gift born of his personality. He brought Peter to Jesus. He brought a small boy who had some fish and loaves of bread to meet Jesus. He brought Nathanael to Jesus. He did not point these people towards Jesus. He took them to meet him.
What a special gift Andrew had – bringing people to Jesus?
We can imagine he continued to use that gift in a different way in his post resurrection ministry.
It is worth reflecting on how we might best do that today?
Brian Traynor CP has been involved in faith formation for many years especially in the form of parish missions and through the Passionist Family Group Movement. Brian is a member of the Passionist community at Holy Cross, Templestowe.