The Crucifixion of St. Andrew by Caravaggio

On this Feast of St. Andrew, we seek his intercession. As he brought his own brother, Peter to Christ, may he bring us also into this life-giving relationship with the Christ!

One of the great opportunities before us in this day and age is to renew the most basic relationship of our lives, our relationship with Jesus Christ. Ask yourself this or similar questions:

“Have I met Jesus?” “Do I have a relationship with Jesus, or simply have a vague faith in him?” 

St. Andrew was a disciple of St. John the Baptist when he heard the Baptist say as he saw Jesus passing by: “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Andrew and another disciple, most likely John, turned their attention to Jesus and followed him. This is the beginning of every Christian life, turning our attention to Jesus and following him. 

Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, came into the world to manifest the presence of God, in the flesh. Entering the world as one like us in all things but sin, he entered into human relationships, first with Mary and Joseph, then with many others. Jesus develops personal relationships in order to make the presence of God known even today. 

Advent is a time to renew our relationship with Jesus … Advent means “the coming of the Lord.” Jesus continues to draw near to us even today. Let us prayerfully spend time with Jesus, to listen to his voice, that we might truly know him, and in the process discover our deepest self.

After St. Andrew met Jesus, he was transformed because he responded to Jesus invitation to “stay with him.” This is true for every believer, by “staying with Jesus” we allow the Lord to reveal his true self to us, that we might know the wisdom and power of God. 

Then, the mission of Jesus is entrusted to us, and as Jesus invites people to follow him and to stay with him, true disciples then drawing others to Christ.

Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.  He first found his own brother Simon and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). Then he brought him to Jesus. (John 1: 40-42)

This brief Gospel passage describes how entering into relationship with Jesus changes individuals, giving them their truest identity and purpose, and draws them not only into relationship with the Lord of Life, but catapults them into a dramatic sharing in the mission of Christ. This is the mission of the Church – our mission – leading others to Christ!

St. Paul gives his own summary of this beautiful mission in the Letter to the Romans. Think of these encounters of Andrew and Peter with Jesus, perhaps even of your own relationship with Jesus and what it naturally entails:

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. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The Scripture says, No one who believes in him will be put to shame. … For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10: 9-18)

Take time in this Advent season to renew your own relationship with Jesus. Trust, this is why he came into the world, to make us friends of God! As you renew this life-giving friendship with Jesus, ask for the grace to bring him into the other relationships of your life, following the model of St. Andrew.

St. Andrew, as you brought your brother Peter to Christ, we pray that you draw us closer to Christ this day and always! As you preached the Gospel, beg the Lord that our own witness of faith may advance the His mission in the world today, and allow us to lead others to Christ and his gift of Salvation!