Today is the feast of St. Andrew, Apostle and Martyr.
As I've mentioned before, Andrew is my personal patron saint. The reasons are not very high-minded or nobel: when it came time to choose a confirmation name, I, at the time wholly ignorant of the importance of the sacrament and being lazy (as I still am), I used my middle name. But God writes straight with crooked lines, and so this really brainless decision on my part has turned into a source of blessing.
I went to St. Malo this morning for Mass. There were four of us--the chaplain, two Sodalit community members, and me--in the small chapel in the retreat house. Father's homily was a simple yet insightful. He emphasized two things, Andrew as Protoclete and the Apostle's eagerness to follow Christ.
In the Eastern Churches Andrew is called the Protoclete, meaning "first called." In today's Gospel, Jesus encounters Andrew and Peter first and calls them to follow Him. The Gospel of John tells us that Andrew was an disciple of the Baptist when he discovered Jesus; he then went to his brother Peter to say that he had found the Messiah.
The important points of Andrew's life are these: that when called he "left at once" to follow the Lord, and he introduced others--especially those closest to him--to Jesus the Messiah.
St. Andrew, pray that I may be as eager and generous as you in my own discipleship.