• Sarah Raad

Rocks & Wonders

It is one thing to listen to, follow and call others to, and quite another to BELIEVE in Christ…

The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew (Carvaggio)

I have been praying for so many intentions in the last few days that it seems as though I could soon become overwhelmed by prayerful intentions. And yet – I do not. My prayers rise like incense and as I pray, I ask the angels to carry my thoughts and words and deeds to my Beloved for them to be pleasing to Him.

As I pray in these days, I wish only to please Him. Soon, I lose sight of all the other intentions and motivations of my prayers and become engrossed in the prayers themselves as I become lost in the sincere desire to please my Beloved.

As I have been praying over these last few days and weeks, I have thought very much of Saint Andrew the apostle.

Though Saint Andrew is mentioned in the Bible ten times, it is only on two of the instances that my prayers have focused over the last few days and weeks.

The first instance is when Andrew followed Christ… “The next day John (the Baptist) was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus… Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:35-44).

The second instance is when Andrew offered the bread and fish for the miracle of the loaves and fish… “Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’” (John 6:8-9).

The first passage is important because it reveals the person who Andrew was. He was the sort of man who trusted in God because he knew Saint John the Baptist was a holy man and he listened to what he was told. Saint John said – that is the Christ – and Andrew immediately went to follow Christ. Andrew left the man he had been following and changed course because it was what was right.

Just imagine how that would have looked in his small community. There was Andrew, having followed Saint John the Baptist around for years and then suddenly – and publicly – he switched course. Suddenly – on what must have appeared a whim to those closest to him – Saint Andrew started following Christ instead! But it is more than that. It was not enough for Andrew to follow Christ he brought others to Christ too.

You see sometimes, it is not the first follower who is most important, but the second. And Andrew brought his brother – Andrew went and called his brother, Simon Peter – to Christ… Now the Church had its rock…

But the second passage is even more important in my mind.

You see, it is one thing to see the Christ with your own eyes and to listen when others tell you to follow Him and even to call others to Him as well; but it is quite another thing, to believe in Him with your whole heart. And that is what the second passage reveals of Saint Andrew… How much he believed…

When there was a hungry multitude who were far from home, Andrew took five loaves and a couple of fish to Christ. That was all. It was not enough to even feed Christ Himself and his own company of disciples and Andrew knew that. It did not matter.

Andrew took EVERYTHING that he had to Christ, even when it was dismally small – because he believed in Christ with all his heart. Now the Church had its miracles and wonders…

Because Christ does not ask us to provide anything – He accepts what we offer and gives us more than we could ever imagine. He takes our five loaves and two fish, and works wonders to provide for us with them.

And so, as I reflect on Saint Andrew the apostle today, I am reminded of the words of Saint Peter Chrysologus who said, “The magi are filled with awe by what they see; Heaven on Earth and Earth in Heaven; Man in God and God in Man; they see enclosed in a tiny Body the One whom the entire world cannot contain.” Because Andrew believed that – with all of his heart…

And because of Saints like Andrew, the Church got its ROCK and its WONDERS…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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