Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle and Martyr (November 30)   7 comments

Above:  Seal of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

He Found the Messiah (John 1:41)

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Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (The Jerusalem Bible):

[Moses continued,] “For this Law that I enjoin on you today is not beyond your strength or beyond your reach.  It is not in heaven, so that you need to wonder, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and bring it down to us, so that we may hear and keep it?’  Nor is it beyond the seas, so that you need to wonder, ‘Who will cross the seas for us and bring it back to us, so that we may hear it and keep it?’  No, the Word is very near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart and for your observance.”

Psalm 19:1-6 (The Jerusalem Bible):

The heavens declare the glory of God,

the vault of heaven proclaims his handiwork;

day discourses of it to day,

night to night hands on the knowledge.

No utterance at all, no speech,

no sound that anyone can hear;

yet their voice goes out through all the earth,

and their message to the ends of the earth.

High above, he pitched a tent for the sun,

who comes out of his pavilion like a bridegroom,

exulting like a hero to run his race.

He has his rising on the edge of heaven,

the end of his course is its furthest edge,

and nothing can escape his heat.

Romans 10:8b-18 (The Jerusalem Bible):

On the positive side it [the text] says:  The word, that is the faith we proclaim, is very near you, it is on your lips and in your heart. If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved.  By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved.  When scripture says: those who believe in him will have no cause for shame, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek:  all belong to the same Lord who is rich enough, however many may ask his help, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But they will not ask his help unless they believe in him, and they will not believe in him unless they have heard of him, and they will not hear of him unless they get a preacher, and they will never have a preacher unless one is sent, but as scripture says:  The footsteps of those who bring good news is a welcome sound. Not everyone, of course, listens to the Good News.  As Isaiah says:  Lord, how many believed what we proclaimed? So faith comes from what is preached, and what is preached comes from the word of Christ.

Let me put the question:  is it possible that they did not hear?  Indeed they did; in the words of the psalm, their voice has gone out through all the earth, and their message to the ends of the world.

Matthew 4:18-22 (The Jerusalem Bible):

As he [Jesus] was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother, Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen.  And he said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”  And they left their nets at once and followed him.

Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.  At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.

The Collect:

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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St. Andrew was the brother of Simon, whom Jesus called Cephas, or Peter, meaning “Rock.”  Simon became the Rock in part because Andrew introduced him to Jesus, identifying Jesus as the Messiah.

Andrew, a fisherman like his brother, left his trade behind to follow Jesus.  His vocation as an apostle seems to have included introducing people to Jesus.  It was Andrew, originally a disciple of John the Baptist, introduced the boy with five loaves and two fishes to Jesus before our Savior fed thousands of people.  And tradition holds that Andrew spoke of Jesus for the rest of his life, traveling as far as Byzantium, the city the Roman Emperor Constantine I (“the Great”) rebuilt and renamed Constantinople, and is now Istanbul.  The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is the successor of St. Andrew, just as the Bishop of Rome is the successor of St. Peter.

It seems that St. Andrew died no later than 38 C.E., crucified on an X-shaped cross at Patras, Achaia.  The official website of the Ecumenical Patriarchate lists the second Patriarch as Stachys the Apostle, who held that office from 38 to 54 C.E.  The mode of St. Andrew’s martyrdom explains the fact that the St. Andrew’s Cross is X-shaped.  Tradition holds furthermore that his bones wound up in Scotland; hence he is the patron saint of Scotland.

Below:  The Flag of Scotland, bearing the St. Andrew’s Cross

The St. Andrew’s Cross is evident in numerous denominational logos, such as those for the Church of Scotland, the original Presbyterian denomination, and The Episcopal Church, for Scottish Episcopalian bishops consecrated the first U.S. bishop, Samuel Seabury.

Below:  Seal of the Church of Scotland

Below:  Seal of The Episcopal Church

Thus we see the influence of one man.  Indeed, one person can make a great and positive difference.  What will your contribution be?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2010

FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.), 1983

FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA, 1925

FEAST OF SAINT EPHREM OF EDESSA, ROMAN CATHOLIC DEACON AND HYMN WRITER

Posted June 10, 2010 by neatnik2009 in November 30, Saints of the Bible

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