Saint Andrew

Today is the feast day of Saint Andrew, Apostle and martyr.  I was surprised when I did a Google search for Andrew that one of the results was a blog post that I wrote on his feast in 2011.  It actually wasn’t bad!  It makes me wonder if my ability to put words together on a page (or screen) isn’t less than it once was.  Old age isn’t for sissies!

Anyway, I thought it might be worth while, on this first Monday of Advent, to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit Saint Andrew.

A quick word-association:  What do you think of when you hear Saint Andrew‘s name.  Hopefully you think “Apostle” or “martyr”, buy if you’re like me you probably think “Simon’s brother”.  Even the Ordo, the Church’s book of daily prayers, mass readings, and other helpful stuff for clergy says “Andrew, + 1st c.; brother of Simon Peter“.

 

We  can learn a lot from Andrew.  All of us live in someone’s shadow.  Whether it be a spouse or a sibling, someone in school or someone at work, there always seems to be someone who gets more recognition, more respect than we do, at least in our own minds.  Think of Andrew.  He’s the one who brought Simon to Jesus.  Yet, Jesus always seemed to favor Simon in spite of the fact that he was constantly messing things up.  It was Simon who Jesus called “Satan”.  It was Simon who cut off the centurion’s ear.  It was Simon who denied Jesus three times.  In spite of all his failings, it was Simon who Jesus put in charge of His new church.

What about Andrew?  He did his job.  He spread the Gospel just as Jesus had called him to do.  And he suffered a martyr’s death.  Twenty centuries later we remember Andrew, but primarily as Simon Peter’s brother.

It’s appropriate that Andrew’s feast day falls within Advent.  As we pray and reflect in preparation for the celebration of the Lord’s birth we can compare Andrew’s life with our own.  Who are the Simon Peters in your life?  More important, how do you interact with them?  Are you jealous or are you glad to have them in your life?  Are they positive role models?

Like I said yesterday, God made each of us to be unique individuals.  Rather than envy someone else’s accomplishments, embrace them and learn what you can from them to make yourself a better you.  I have four grown-up children.  Each of them is a unique individual.  Each one excels in different things.  I’m sure that at one time or another they’ve all felt like they were living in one another’s shadows.  But the reality is that each one is the wind beneath the others’ wings.

Today’s challenge is to think about the people in your life who seem to get all the attention.  What can you learn from them?  More important, how can you use the gifts God has given you to be a better “you” instead of an imitation “them”.

After 2,000 years we may think of Andrew as Simon Peter’s brother, but the thing is we’re still thinking about him.

First Wednesday of Advent–Saint Andrew

 


A quick word-association:  What do you think of when you hear Saint Andrew‘s name.  Hopefully you think “Apostle” or “martyr”, buy if you’re like me you probably think “Simon’s brother”.  Even the Ordo, the Church’s book of daily prayers, mass readings, and other helpful stuff for clergy says “Andrew, + 1st c.; brother of Simon Peter“.

 

We  can learn a lot from Andrew.  All of us live in someone’s shadow.  Whether it be a spouse or a sibling, someone in school or someone at work, there always seems to be someone who gets more recognition, more respect than we do, at least in our own minds.  Think of Andrew.  He’s the one who brought Simon to Jesus.  Yet, Jesus always seemed to favor Simon in spite of the fact that he was constantly messing things up.  It was Simon who Jesus called “Satan”.  It was Simon who cut off the centurion’s ear.  It was Simon who denied Jesus three times.  In spite of all his failings, it was Simon who Jesus put in charge of His new church.

What about Andrew?  He did his job.  He spread the Gospel just as Jesus had called him to do.  And he suffered a martyr’s death.  Twenty centuries later we remember Andrew, but primarily as Simon Peter’s brother.

It’s appropriate that Andrew’s feast day falls within Advent.  As we pray and reflect in preparation for the celebration of the Lord’s birth we can compare Andrew’s life with our own.  Who are the Simon Peters in your life?  More important, how do you interact with them?  Are you jealous or are you glad to have them in your life?  Are they positive role models?

Like I said yesterday, God made each of us to be unique individuals.  Rather than envy someone else’s accomplishments, embrace them and learn what you can from them to make yourself a better you.  I have four grown-up children.  Each of them is a unique individual.  Each one excels in different things.  I’m sure that at one time or another they’ve all felt like they were living in one another’s shadows.  But the reality is that each one is the wind beneath the others’ wings.

Today’s challenge is to think about the people in your life who seem to get all the attention.  What can you learn from them?  More important, how can you use the gifts God has given you to be a better “you” instead of an imitation “them”.

After 2,000 years we may think of Andrew as Simon Peter’s brother, but the thing is we’re still thinking about him.

The First Monday of Advent

Saint Andrew the ApostleWelcome back to DeaconCast.  It’s Monday, November 30, the last day of the month and the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle.

Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist before he was called to follow Christ.  Here’s what St. John Chrystostom had to say about Andrew, from today’s Office of Readings:

“After Andrew had stayed with Jesus and had learned much from him, he did not keep this treasure to himself, but hastened top share it with his brother (Peter).  Notice what Andrew said to him:  We have found the Messiah, that is to say, the Christ. Notice how his words reveal what he has learned in so short a time.  They show the power of the master who has convinced them of this truth.  They reveal the zeal and concern of men preoccupied with this question from the very beginning.  Andrew’s words reveal a soul waiting with the utmost longing for the coming of the Messiah, looking forward to his appearing from heaven, rejoicing when He does appear, and hastening to announce so great an event to others.  To support one another in the things of the spirit is the true sign of good will between brothers, of loving kinship and sincere affection.”

Chrystostom goes on to point out that this conversion took time.  Just because the scriptural narrative is fairly short, it doesn’t mean that there was  overnight enlightenment.  As we know from reading the rest of the Gospels, it took a long time for some of Jesus’ disciples to “get it.”  In fact, for some of them it took His death and resurrection to make them understand.  In the case of Thomas, it took even more than that.

These early days of Advent are a good time to reflect on our own understanding of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord.

New Web Site

From the Catholic News Agency, the U.S. Bishops have launched a new web site for Advent and Christmas. It’s pretty neat and includes a virtual “Advent Calendar”.  By clicking on each day of the Advent season you’re taken to a page of resources for that day.  There are also sections of the site with prayers and blessings, Advent carols, and other cool stuff for the season.  Check it out!

The First Monday of Advent

Saint Andrew the Apostle

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Today is Monday, November 30, the last day of November and the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle.

Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist before he was called to follow Christ.  He was also Peter’s brother.  Here’s what Saint John Chrystostom has to say about Andrew in today’s Office of Readings.

After Andrew had stayed with Jesus and had learned much from Him, he did not keep this treasure to himself, but hastened to share it with his brother.  Notice what Andrew said to him:  We have found the Messiah, that is to say, the Christ. Notice how his words reveal what he has learned in so short a time.  They show the power of the master who has convinced them of this truth.  They reveal the zeal and concern of men preoccupied with this question from the very beginning.  Andrew’s words reveal a soul waiting with the utmost longing for the coming of the Messiah, looking forward to his appearing from heaven, rejoicing when he does appear, and hastening to announce so great an event to others.  To support one another in the things of the spirit is the true sign of good will between brothers, of loving kinship and sincere affection.”

Chrysostom goes on to point out that this conversion didn’t happen over night.  It was a process then and it’s a process now.  Even some of the Apostles, the men who lived with Jesus during His earthly ministry didn’t “get it” until after the Lord’s death and resurrection.  For one of them, Thomas, it took even more.

Here in the early days of Advent would be a good time to examine our own conversion process and to ask ourselves if we’re following Andrew’s example of sharing the good news with others.

To support one another in the things of the spirit is the true sign of good will between brothers, of loving kinship and sincere affection.”

A new web site from the U.S. Bishops

Here’s some news from the Catholic News Agency.  The U.S. Bishops have launched a new web site for the Advent and Christmas seasons.  It features a virtual Advent Calendar.  Clicking on a day of the calendar takes you to a page of prayers and activities for that particular day.  Pretty neat!

The site also features other prayers and blessings for the season, facts about Advent and Christmas, and a resource page.  Check it out!