Be an Andrew
Gospel Reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
As I read the Gospel this weekend, I thought of a scene in The Chosen TV series. Andrew runs home to tell his brother Simon that the Messiah is here! The Messiah is the promised deliverer or savior, the One the Jewish people had longed for throughout generations. Simon likely didn’t know how to process such Good News and tried to conceptualize its impact on him, his family and the world.
One of the biggest reasons why I promote this phenomenal series is the gift of seeing the faces of the apostles as we dive into their personal stories. As we hear the stories in Scripture over and over again, we sometimes can forget the humanity of the characters. It’s not just a story; it’s THE story. It’s OUR story.
Before discovering the show, I hadn’t thought too much about Andrew. His brother Simon Peter gets most of the attention since he became our first pope. Yet, Andrew was actually the “matchmaker.” He met Jesus first and believed. Then, he went to introduce his new acquaintance to his beloved brother. In the words of St. John the Evangelist, “He brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:42)
Through studying Scripture, it is evident that Simon’s personality causes him to fall on his face often. He’s eager, stubborn, and passionate. He’s such a fun character to identify with because there is some of Peter in all of us. As his brother, Andrew helped to ground and guide him along the way. We don’t hear about him much, except when there is multiplication of food involved. Yet, his impact matters. He had a critical role to play in the history of the Church. God wanted him to participate in this special way, inspiring each of us to think about the role that we are called to play.
In the first reading this week, we hear about Samuel. Though young and quiet, God had a special plan for him. As corruption, scandal, and drama were realities for the religious leadership at the time, God spoke to Samuel.
“When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the Lord came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.” 1 Samuel 3:10,19
I want to highlight, “God did not permit any word of his to be without effect.” Words matter. God indeed speaks through us and others around us. He speaks with intention, authority, and promise. Those that hear and relay the Word of God are to speak with that same confidence and surety. Samuel spoke of God, no matter what others thought. He exhorted Israel to turn away from idolatry and to serve God alone.
Samuel was an answer to his mother’s prayers as she longed for a child. He was an answered prayer for the people of Israel as they longed for a good leader.
When Andrew announced the Good News to his brother Simon, he did not seek approval from him. He did not doubt his message; he proclaimed it: “We have found the Messiah!” By using “we” he did not keep the Good News to himself. After encountering the joy of Our Lord, he immediately shared Jesus with his brother. God’s Word brings forth a sense of community and hope for all those who attend to His voice and respond.
It’s important to remember that God’s messages and messengers can surprise us. Samuel and Andrew were unexpected avenues God used on the journey of saving His people and building His Church. They were likely misunderstood or disregarded by those who allowed the voices of the world to tune them out. Yet, when God called, they listened and followed.
No matter how crazy the world can become around us, we can be confident that God is rising up Samuels and Andrews. While the news may focus on the bad, are we looking for the good?
Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”
Are you listening to the call of the Lord? Are you bringing others to Christ?
Who are the Samuels that God is raising up around you? Who are the Andrews who have brought you to our Lord? How can you be an Andrew today?
If you're looking for a beautiful prayer experience anytime you need it, check out the Hallow app. Go to hallow.com/annieharton in your browser and make an account to experience ALL Premium features for FREE!