Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
November 29, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the Feast of St. Andrew, the brother of Peter, also a fisherman, a beloved Apostle and friend of Jesus.
Our Gospel tells the story of Andrew’s call. The spontaneity of Andrew and Peter’s response to Jesus is stunning and deeply inspiring!
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,Matthew 4:18-20
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
Another favorite passage about Andrew is when he points out to Jesus that, in the famished crowd, there is a young boy with five loaves and two fish.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip,John 6: 5-10
“Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages
to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish,
but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”
How simple and complete was Andrew’s faith! Those seven little items must have seemed so minute among 5000. Can you picture Andrew looking into Jesus’s eyes as if to say, “I know it’s not much but you can do anything!” Maybe it was that one devoted look which prompted Jesus to perform this amazing miracle!
We trust that our deep devotion and faith can move God’s heart too. On this feast of St. Andrew, many people begin a prayer which carries them through to Christmas. Praying it, we ask for particular favors from God.
I love this prayer because it was taught to me by my mother, a woman blessed with simple faith like Andrew’s. As I recite it, I ask to be gifted with the same kind of faith.
( Another reason I love it is this: how often in life do you get a chance to say a word like “vouchsafe“! )
St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires
through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,
and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
Poetry: St. Andrew’s Day – John Keble
In this thought-provoking poem, the poet uses Andrew’s and Peter’s relationship to reflect on the meaning of being true brothers (and of course SISTERS).
When brothers part for manhood's race,
What gift may most endearing prove
To keep fond memory its her place,
And certify a brother's love?
'Tis true, bright hours together told,
And blissful dreams in secret shared,
Serene or solemn, gay or bold,
Shall last in fancy unimpaired.
E'en round the death-bed of the good Such dear remembrances will hover, And haunt us with no vexing mood When all the cares of earth are over. But yet our craving spirits feel, We shall live on, though Fancy die, And seek a surer pledge-a seal Of love to last eternally.
Who art thou, that wouldst grave thy name
Thus deeply in a brother's heart?
Look on this saint, and learn to frame
Thy love-charm with true Christian art.
First seek thy Saviour out, and dwell
Beneath this shadow of His roof,
Till thou have scanned His features well,
And known Him for the Christ by proof;
Such proof as they are sure to find Who spend with Him their happy days, Clean hands, and a self-ruling mind Ever in tune for love and praise.
Then, potent with the spell of Heaven,
Go, and thine erring brother gain,
Entice him home to be forgiven,
Till he, too, see his Savior plain..
Or, if before thee in the race,
Urge him with thine advancing tread,
Till, like twin stars, with even pace,
Each lucid course be duly aped.
No fading frail memorial give
To soothe his soul when thou art gone,
But wreaths of hope for aye to live,
And thoughts of good together done.
That so, before the judgment-seat,
Though changed and glorified each face,
Not unremembered ye may meet
For endless ages to embrace.
Music: Hear my prayer, O Lord is an eight-part choral anthem by the English composer Henry Purcell (1659–1695). The anthem is a setting of the first verse of Psalm 102 in the version of the Book of Common Prayer. Purcell composed it c. 1682 at the beginning of his tenure as Organist and Master of the Choristers for Westminster Abbey.