Bridging the Gap

November 30, 2020 – Feast of St Andrew, Apostle

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We celebrate today the Feast of St. Andrew, one of the original 12 apostles. We know very little of him. According to our tradition, Andrew became the first bishop in the community of Constantinople until he was martyred through crucifixion on an X-shape cross. The gospels tell us also that he was the brother of Peter. They were from Bethsaida, a town near the Sea of Galilee. In John’s Gospel, we were told that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist at first. In the same gospel, we found that Andrew had actually brought Peter to Jesus, telling his brother, “We have found the Messiah!” (Jn 1:35-42). It was also Andrew who called the attention of Jesus about the boy with 5 loaves and 2 fish (Jn 6:8-9). Again, it was Andrew with Philip who told Jesus that there were some Greeks who wanted to see Jesus (Jn 12:20-22).

From here, we can sense that Andrew was actually an apostle with a typical role. Unlike Peter, he was not able to witness the transfiguration of Jesus at Mt. Tabor. Andrew was not part of Jesus’ inner circle composed of Peter and the 2 brothers, James and John. He was in fact an ordinary guy, an ordinary apostle of Jesus. However, Andrew had a remarkable faith in Jesus. Remember, his brother Peter doubted and even denied Jesus three times. But for Andrew, he was the first one to realize that Jesus was truly the Messiah. In his conviction, he joyfully shared what he found to his brother. He himself became an evangelist, a preacher of the good news to his own brother. Also, he brought others to Jesus like the boy and those Greeks. He became a bridge between Jesus and other people. He actually bridged the gap between those people and Jesus.

This is what St. Paul has told us in the first reading. There is a need and beauty in sharing one’s faith in Jesus to others. Paul writes, “Their voice has gone forth to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” His letter to the Romans helps us ponder our own call to be a kind of apostle or bearer of the good news to others like St. Andrew.

Moreover, the Gospel tells us how we are being called individually. To each of us, Jesus says, “COME, FOLLOW ME, AND I WILL MAKE YOU FISH FOR PEOPLE! I WILL MAKE YOU MY OWN APOSTLE!” This can surely be materialized when we preach with joy by our own example.

So, as students, when we believe in what we are studying; as workers, when we are happy with what we are doing and honest in our business and with our co-workers; and when we are sensitive to others and volunteer to help whenever someone needs a helping hand; when we become joyful givers to those who have less;  when we are more understanding and compassionate with those who are experiencing more difficulty in their life; and when people feel that we believe what we pray in the church, in our homes or with others…THEN PEOPLE WILL SEE ALL THESE THINGS AND WILL RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE CHRISTIANS.

Like St. Andrew, we will be able to bridge the gap by bringing others closer to Jesus.  Hinaut pa.


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