Andrew is known as the first apostle to be called. Each of the evangelists remembers the apostles’ first call in slightly different ways. According to the Gospel of John, Andrew was among the disciples of John the Baptist when Jesus appeared. The Baptist sends his disciples to follow Jesus. Obedient, Andrew and the other begin to follow Jesus, walking behind him along the way. Jesus turns around and asks, “What do you want?” Their answer is quite interesting because they don’t ask for anything (as we usually do). Rather, they ask, “Where do you live?” Jesus answers, “Come and go.” They spent some time with Jesus. Andrew becomes convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the savior, the fulfillment of all his hopes and all the promises of God. Andrew’s heart and soul were already predisposed to listen to Jesus and to recognize Christ so quickly because of the Baptist’s preaching.
Andrew doesn’t keep that knowledge and faith to himself. The first thing he does is run his brother Simon Peter with the good news. “We have found the Messiah, the Christ.” He openly proclaims his faith, first of all to those most important to him, his family. And then Andrew took Simon Peter to Jesus.
St. Paul says very clearly in today’s first reading that faith comes from preaching, from listening to the proclamation of the Good News.
And how can they hear without someone to preach to them?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
The Church and our local faith community needs more authentic apostles like Andrew to go out and lead, live, and share our faith in convincing ways.
Jesus said to those first apostles, “Come and go.” Now the Holy Spirit encourages and empowers us by saying: Go and demonstrate your faith. As we begin this season of Advent, we can take some time to ask ourselves if we are living as true apostles, proclaiming our faith to all.