Good day, and welcome to Communion of Saints from stjeromeschapel.org. Iâ€™m your host, Micah Jackson. Today is November 30th, 2005: the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle.
The lives of the leaders in the Early Church come to us in two ways. Firstly, the Bible tells us about their relationship with Jesus. Secondly, the legends and traditions of Early Christianity tell us about their apostolic work after the Resurrection. In the case of St. Andrew, we have powerful and inspiring stories from both sources.
The passage appointed for today from the Gospel of Matthew tells of how Jesus called Andrew and his brother Simon Peter while they were fishing in the Sea of Galilee. (Matthew 4:18-22) But in the Gospel of John, Andrew meets Jesus first. It is he who invites his soon-to-be more famous brother Simon Peter to meet the Messiah. (John 1:35-42) I donâ€™t know that we have any way to tease out the truth from these conflicting accounts, and I suppose that it doesnâ€™t really matter whether Jesus called Andrew and Peter together or if Andrew came first. The most important part to remember is that Jesus called Andrew to faith and he responded immediately, and that Andrew lived out that faith in a community of other believers.
The Bible doesnâ€™t tell us about the end of Andrewâ€™s life, but Church tradition does. According to the story, Andrew was sentenced to die on a cross, the most humiliating death anyone could think of at that time. But Andrew wasnâ€™t ashamed, and said that he would be honored to die the same way as Jesus. The judge then ordered that Andrewâ€™s cross be turned on its side. The saint replied, â€œOur Lord doesnâ€™t care about the shape.â€ How true. The Gospel calls us to take up our cross and follow Jesus, even though it may mean suffering or death. But he doesnâ€™t care about the shape. Following Christ as best we can given our own strengths and challenges is more important than trying to copy some other faithful Christianâ€™s exact witness.
Andrew gives us a tremendous example of the faithful Christian life. Valuing his relationships with others, inviting them to experience Jesusâ€™ love, just as he did, and living and dying in the unique path that he was shown are all things that we should aspire to in our walk with God.
Let us pray: Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle, Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by your Holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Thank you for listening to Communion of Saints. Please join us tomorrow at stjeromeschapel.org for the feast of Blessed Nicholas Ferrar. Iâ€™m Micah Jackson. May God be with you.
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