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Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
December 17, 2017
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Advent

The twofold character of Advent calls us to prepare for the remembering of the Word made Flesh at Christmas, and directs us to wait with alertness for Jesus’ second coming.

Saint of the Week

First Sunday of Advent

Andrew, Apostle, First Century

Andrew, a native of Bethsaida, was a fisherman like his father, John, and his brother, Simon. When John the Baptist began preaching penance, Andrew became his disciple.

One day, Jesus passed by while John was preaching and John said, "Behold the lamb of God." Andrew immediately grasped John's meaning and went off after Jesus, staying with him for several hours. Based on this encounter, Butler's Lives of the Saints credits Andrew with being Jesus' first disciple. Convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, Andrew brought his brother to meet him whereupon Simon also became a disciple, and later received the name of Peter from Jesus.

At first, Andrew and Peter did not leave their fishing to join Jesus in his ministry, but listened to him whenever their business allowed. Later, Jesus found Andrew and Simon casting their nets into the lake and said to them, "Come after me and I will make you fishers of men" (Mt 4:19). At that point Andrew and Peter abandoned their nets and answered Jesus' call.

Little more is known about Andrew beyond an occasional mention in the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. Legend has it, however, that Andrew preached the Good News in what is now modern Greece and Turkey, and was martyred at Patras.

St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and Russia. His patronage of Scotland is based on an unsubstantiated myth that his relics were carried by St. Rule to Scotland in the fourth century. The origin of his patronage of Russia is derived from a spurious legend that he preached in that country as far as Kiev.

A feast honors this Apostle on November 30.

Andrew's message today: Hearing Jesus’ words convinced Andrew that the Messiah had come at last. While we can’t hear Jesus’ words directly, our faith in Jesus as the Messiah grows as we study the Word of God in Scripture.

  • Do you spend some time each day studying the Word of God? Check in a local Christian bookstore or your parish library for books and other resources which may help in your pursuit.