Feast of Saint Andrew, apostle
(Romans 10:9-18; Matthew 4:18-22)
In his seminal exhortation on evangelization, Pope Paul VI wrote: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” Little is said about the apostle Andrew in the gospels outside of the stories of his being called by Jesus. But as Paul VI said, the witness that he gives in these calls speaks forcefully through the ages.
Peter and Andrew are probably like most fishermen. They love the sea not only as the source of food for the table but also for the freedom it brings. On the sea in their boat no one is tells them what to do. But for the two brothers in today’s gospel the call of Jesus is more powerful than the attraction of the sea. They tarry not a minute but respond to his beckoning at once. Their leaving boat and even their father testifies to Jesus’ primacy over everything else.
We need to give witness as well. It starts with how we present ourselves. Do our homes feature a cross identifying Jesus as he who brings peace to our lives? Do we mention Jesus as the source of any goodness we have and the goal of our lives beyond death? Exhibiting a cross and indicating Jesus’ authority in our lives serve to purposes. They evangelize others, and they keep us rightly focused.