Written by: Lisette Koessick, UF Student
Saint Andrew is not an apostle that is well known or mentioned often in the gospels. He is the older brother of Simon Peter and was first a disciple of St. John the Baptist. A quiet example of faith, Saint Andrew diligently followed Jesus without ambition or seeking of fame.
The story of Saint Andrew the Apostle seems like an unattainable idea. Following Jesus without request or complaint is indeed a noble goal, but in practice is trying. Often we find ourselves walking a path similar to the brother of the Prodigal Son. We are faithful sons and daughters of God until the first signs of trial; it is when we see the flames begin to rise that our pride consumes us, and we burn for more, more than we need or deserve. The father loved each of his sons equally; the second son mistook his father’s joy at the return of the prodigal son for favoritism and he hardened his own heart. Every day, we see others receiving blessings from the Lord, and it is tempting to judge them, to believe that they are somehow unworthy, and we are somehow worthy. But God the Father loves each of us uniquely, wholly, with equal strength, and despite our unworthiness. He rejoices every time a child of His runs to him with open arms, and He delights in the son or daughter who serves without fanfare.
There are many times when we do not receive recognition, and in this way we can choose to follow Saint Andrew’s example. He led his brother to Jesus through Saint John the Baptist, watched his brother receive the keys to heaven even though Peter denied Christ. He faithfully followed Jesus even to his own crucifixion in Patras. Famously he chose to be crucified on an x-shaped cross as opposed to a traditional cross, because he did not feel worthy to be sacrificed in the same way as our Lord.
There is nothing we could ever do to be worthy of love – but we don’t need to be. He loves us infinitely, whether we are closer to the second son or have chosen to follow the way of Saint Andrew. Loving God truthfully includes humble service. It includes serving the greater mission of Christ without an expectation of praise. Through the actions of Saint Andrew, we can learn how to be a better reflection of Christ in this world.
Saint Andrew the Apostle, pray for us!