34th Thursday of Ordinary Time
Feast of St. Andrew
Romans 10: 9 – 18; Ps 19; Matthew 4: 18 – 22
There are two accounts of St. Andrew’s encounter with the Lord. One we just heard from the Gospel of St. Matthew and the other is found in the first chapter of St. John’s Gospel and they are very different. St. Matthew recounts Jesus seeing two fishermen, Peter and Andrew casting a net into the sea. St. John recounts John the Baptist pointing out the “Lamb of God” to his disciples, one of whom is Andrew.
This reminds me of the creation story in Genesis – the author, having two narratives, found it hard to decide so put both in the account and let it up to the reader to decide. Perhaps, the Holy Spirit is allowing us to do the same with Andrew’s call!!
The two accounts do have these things in common: there is Jesus, there is Andrew, there is an invitation to follow and with it Andrew’s immediate response – St. Matthew tells us that with Peter, he immediately left and followed or as St. John recounts: “The two heard what he (John the Baptist) said, and followed Jesus.” However it happened, Andrew’s immediate, spontaneous decision to follow Jesus reveals great openness of heart, profound willingness to trust, ardent passion to know the Lord and to serve Him.
As we know, Andrew will live these to the end when he will suffer the martyrdom of crucifixion – legend has it that he was bound not nailed to an “X” shaped cross and that he preached from it for two days until he died. (Butler’s Lives of the Saints) This part is not legend: St. Andrew is a perfect example and strong witness to St. Paul’s words: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This he lived faithfully to the end not unlike his Master who loved His own to the end.
We pray that in our own following of our Lord Jesus Christ, in our personal response to His invitation, such heartfelt confession and profound belief will mark our lives to the end. This is true discipleship, surely, the discipleship we seek.