Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Feast of St. Andrew

Today we celebrate the life of St. Andrew, brother of Peter. Every so often I come across references to the relatives of Peter, and I'm always a bit surprised to remember that he actually had a family. What must it have been like to be the brother of Peter? Did Andrew grow tired of Peter's antics? Or was he happy to have such an enthusiastic sibling? In any case, Andrew was the first of the brothers to follow Christ, and he brought Peter to Jesus. Was there any sibling rivalry? Did Andrew sometimes wonder why Peter never seemed to get the larger picture? Was Andrew ever resentful when Peter rose to prominence?

I know that I'm supposed to assume that Andrew was more mature, that he realized we all have our own spiritual gifts, that he didn't resent his brother or any of the other apostles. But I'm also reminded again and again that the disciples were human, and even the apostles must have been subject to some of the uglier emotions that we all experience. Happily, the apostles managed to work through their human vulnerabilities to spread the Good News far and wide.

Andrew is given credit for bringing Christianity to eastern Europe and western Asia. He's also important to the people of Scotland. The image above is from a Wikipedia entry, and it's one of the icons of St. Andrew, from Kizhi Monastery in Karelia, Russia.

Here's a prayer for today, from Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours:

"Almighty God, who gave such grace to your Apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by your holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen."

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