We learn almost nothing about Andrew from the synoptic Gospels, but he plays a more prominent role in John’s Gospel. There he appears as a disciple of John the Baptist. He and another disciple see Jesus as the fulfilment of John’s prophetic ministry, and decide to follow Jesus instead of John (John 1:35-40). It is Andrew who then effects the introduction to Jesus of his brother Simon Peter (John 1:4f). This story in fact makes intelligible the acceptance of Jesus’ call by these brothers and their fishing partners, the sons of Zebedee, in the synoptic tradition (Matthew 4:18-22), which is otherwise not explained.
Later, Andrew is found associated with another apostle from Bethsaida, Philip. When Jesus tests the disciples by challenging them with the hunger of the multitude, Philip asserts that they could not afford the amount of bread that would be needed. Andrew adds: "What use are a few loaves and a couple of fish?" (John 6:5-9), but he nevertheless brings the boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus for the feeding of the multitude. Later in John’s Gospel, at the feast in Jerusalem, some Greeks who want to see Jesus approach Philip, and Philip consults his fellow townsman, Andrew, who tells Jesus of the request (John 12:20-22). Read more...
The feast of Christ the King, which we keep today on this last Sunday in the liturgical year, was, as I am sure you know, instituted at a time when the world seemed to be sliding towards the violence of war. The first World War, called the war to end all wars had drawn to a close in 1918, but there were ominous signs that all was not right with the world. Into that situation Pope Pius XI warned, in 1925, that “as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Saviour there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations.” These ominous words can be found in Quas Primas, the encyclical in which the Pope instituted the Feast of Christ the King. Read more...
We began the month with the feasts of All Saints and All Souls. Preparation for these celebrations had me looking once again at Bishop Tom Wright’s excellent little book on the subject, For All the Saints?. In the last chapter of the book Wright takes a swipe at the feast of Christ the King, a relatively recent addition to the calendar. He complains that its placement on this, the last Sunday of the Christian year, the last Sunday before Advent, pulls the Church’s year out of shape, devaluing other feasts and occasions. Read more...
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