The Gospel reading from the Mass for the Feast of St. Andrew is Matthew 4:18-22

Following the miraculous manifestation of God at Christ’s baptism and His grueling 40-day ordeal in the wilderness, Christ emerges from the wilderness and learns that John the Baptist has been arrested. Christ returns to the region of Galilee, first to His home-town of Nazareth and then relocates to the larger trading town of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee.

Christ’s calling of the first Apostles is stunning for a number of reasons. Acting more as a King than a rabbi, Christ calls His men to Himself; traditionally, men would choose the rabbi they wished to follow. Rather than finding a following among the learned or well-connected, Christ calls ordinary working-class men. It is also striking that with only a simple call by Christ, all four of these Apostles (Peter, Andrew, James and John) immediately follow, leaving their livelihoods and possessions (their nets and boats); remarkably, James and John even leave their father Zebedee.

Though a Jew, Andrew’s name is Greek from the Greek word “Adreas”, meaning “manly.” Andrew was close to Christ; he is mentioned at key points of the Gospels including the Feeding of the 5000, in soliciting Christ’s observation that the massive Temple would be destroyed and in seeking to bring Greeks to Christ during Passion Week (a preview of Andrew’s evangelization of the Greeks in the years to come). After Christ’s Ascension, tradition holds that St. Andrew was an apostle to the Greeks and that he was martyred by crucifixion on an X-shaped cross (the St. Andrew Cross) in the Greek city of Patras. St. Andrew’s relics continue to be venerated in Patras, Greece, Amalfi, Italy and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine Prophet, Christ fulfills ancient prophecy and through His words and actions makes future prophecy which comes to pass (destruction of the Temple).  Son of God, Christ has an immediate life-changing impact on the Apostles. Son of Man, Christ has an undeniable charisma that appeals to men. Divine King, Christ selects, attracts and converts men to build His Church.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Reflect upon Christ’s mysterious power to pick men who appear to be unexceptional (lowly fisherman) but are inspired by Christ’s Grace to carry out exceptional acts of evangelization and martyrdom.

2) John’s Gospel (John 1:36-42) reveals that in Andrew’s search for the Messiah, he followed John but then was the first Apostle to follow Jesus after hearing John’s revelation that Christ was “the Lamb of God”; Andrew is called the Protoclete (“the first called”) who brings his brother Simon Peter to Christ. Review man’s Search for God (CCC 26-30, 843, 1501, 2566) and pray for Christ to help you and all men who search for God to be blessed to find Him. St. Andrew, pray for us!

3) In the day-to-day battle of life, men can forget about the powerful champions Christ has given men in the Saints. Refresh your understanding of the Communion of the Saints (CCC 946-962, 2683) and pray for Christ to help you to be strengthened by your Patron Saint(s) (CCC 2165, 2156) and those Saints who can help you prevail over your life challenges.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently