Advent season year C, 30/11/2021, Mt 4,18-22
St Andrew was born in Bethsaida, in Galilee, and worked as a fisherman. He was possibly a disciple of St John the Baptist. He became one of the first to follow Jesus and introduced his brother, Simon Peter, to him. As one of the twelve Apostles, he was widely venerated in ancient times, and named patron saint of Scotland because, legend says some of his bones were brought there and buried where the town of St Andrew’s now stands.
St Paul is clear that those who believe are saved. How many times have we been told this? But what does it mean? It refers to the fact that we enter heaven when we die because Jesus won that privilege for us. But we are saved now while we are alive. Acknowledging this fact helps us have a better perspective on life here on earth. It helps us understand the world better and see creation as a gift from God to be treated with honour and respect and for which we have a solemn duty of care. It helps us see all those we encounter, especially in our families, as loved and cherished by God and also saved, even though they may not believe it. It helps us have a positive perspective on life whatever may be happening around us. Since loving God and neighbour are intertwined it programmes us to want to care for others especially those in need, the vulnerable, the forgotten and the unloved. It inspires us to want to speak with others about our faith journey so as to better witness the Good News. Being saved, we yearn to help others recognise this great great gift of God: salvation, just like St Andrew.
by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a