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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. St. Andrew’s First Encounter with Christ.
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Written by Francis Fernandez   
Sunday, 29 November 2009 08:35

A ndrew was a native of Bethsaida and a fisherman like his brother Simon, whom he introduced to the Lord. He was a disciple of John the Baptist and one of the first to become a follower of Jesus. He pointed out to Jesus the boy who had the few loaves and fishes so that Our Lord could work the miracle of their multiplication. St Andrew preached the Gospel in Greece and died a martyr on an inverted cross.

 

Andrew’s first encounter with Christ.

 

They came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour (John 1:39). The Gospel informs us that Andrew and John are the first Apostles to follow Jesus. Soon after Our Saviour begins his public ministry - the following day - he meets John the Baptist and two of his disciples. Seeing the Lord as He passes by, the Precursor says: Behold the Lamb of God (John 1:37).

 

Christ then calls the ones who are the first to be closely associated with his Person and mission and they respond immediately: Jesus turns around, and seeing the two following him, says to them: ‘What is it you seek?’ They say, ‘Rabbi (which interpreted means Master), where dwellest thou?’  He says to them, ‘Come and see'. How friendly our Lord’s invitation to them must have been. Now Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John the Baptist and followed him. That day Jesus speaks to them with divine wisdom and human charm, and they remain committed to Our Lord for good. After many years have passed, St John records the exact time of their encounter in his Gospel. It was about the tenth hour, about four o’clock in the afternoon. He never forgets the moment when Jesus says to him: What do you seek? Andrew will also always remember that decisive day. Neither of the Apostles ever forgets his crucial encounter with Jesus.

 

To accept God’s call and live as one of the Lord’s intimate friends is the greatest grace a person can receive in this life. The joyful day we accept the clear invitation to follow the Master is an occasion we will always treasure in our heart. The grace of vocation is always an unmerited gift. The more divinely inspired it is, the more highly we should esteem it, since our calling illuminates the whole panorama of the future for us and gives meaning to our life. The call of vocation is often a gradual realization we come to understand in the peace and calm of our prayer. At times, however, as in the case of St Paul, his invitation is manifested in a fashion as clear as a flash of lightning which tears open the darkness that clouds our perspective. The Master may also simply put his hand on one’s shoulder and say: You are mine! Follow me! The person in question is then filled with joy and goes and sells all that he has and buys that field  (Matt 13:44) where his treasure lies. Like a collector of fine pearls (Matt 13:45), the soul concerned discovers the pearl of great price among the many gifts of life (J.L.R. Sanchez, The Gospel of St John, Madrid 1987).

 

Jesus encourages the first disciples: Come and see, He says to them. In their personal dealings with the Lord, Andrew and John learn what is not immediately apparent to them through his words alone (St Thomas, Commentary on St. John, in loc.). Through frequent prayer, we too can grow to perceive the many invitations He addresses to us. We will then have greater intimacy with Christ and thus be able to follow him more closely. While we are speaking to him now, we might ask ourselves if we are striving to be attentive to the promptings of his voice. Do we respond fully to what Christ asks of us, since he has wanted to depend on our support? Let us remember that the Lord is always present in the world, just as He was twenty centuries ago. Now more than ever Jesus is seeking men and women to collaborate in this divine venture for the salvation of souls. Responding positively to his invitation is immensely worthwhile, since it entails cooperating in an enterprise of eternal significance. # # #

 

Announcement: We are conducting weekly Bible Studies (on Sunday's Gospel) via Skype every Wednesday at 8pm Philippine time. To join, just email us your Skype ID and we'll invite you.

With permission from Scepter UK.  Short excerpt  from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez.  Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore.com (info@totusbookstore.com)

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Last Updated on Sunday, 29 November 2009 08:42
 

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