Saint of the Day – November 30 – Saint Andrew

Image: Saint Andrew | Jusepe de Ribera | self scanned from own book

Saint Andrew’s Story (D. 60?)

Andrew was Saint Peter’s brother, and was called with him. “As [Jesus] was walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is now called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-20).

John the Evangelist presents Andrew as a disciple of John the Baptist. When Jesus walked by one day, John said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Andrew and another disciple followed Jesus. “Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come, and you will see.’ So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day” (John 1:38-39a).

Little else is said about Andrew in the Gospels. Before the multiplication of the loaves, it was Andrew who spoke up about the boy who had the barley loaves and fishes. When the Gentiles went to see Jesus, they came to Philip, but Philip then had recourse to Andrew.

Legend has it that Andrew preached the Good News in what is now modern Greece and Turkey and was crucified at Patras on an X-shaped cross.

Reflection

As in the case of all the apostles except Peter and John, the Gospels give us little about the holiness of Andrew. He was an apostle. That is enough. He was called personally by Jesus to proclaim the Good News, to heal with Jesus’ power and to share his life and death. Holiness today is no different. It is a gift that includes a call to be concerned about the Kingdom, an outgoing attitude that wants nothing more than to share the riches of Christ with all people.

Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of:

Fishermen
Greece
Russia
Scotland

//Franciscan Media//


Minute Meditation – God Feeds Us with Loving Kindness

Food freely given exacts from us a promise to go beyond its selfish reception to the unselfish realm of deep gratitude. There we commit ourselves to give to others what we have received. My food mentors—grandmother and mother—cooked not because their sense of dignity depended on others’ opinions of them but because they knew that treating tablemates to the best they could offer was the backbone of every family and nation. Though ingratitude and indifference might have come to their table, it disappeared when they left it. Poured forth from previously pursed lips was a litany of gratitude complemented by what these good souls always wanted to see: sighs and smiles of contentment.

—from the book Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit
by Susan Muto 

//Franciscan Media//


Daily Meditation – Appreciate the Simple Things

We need to reawaken the art and discipline of what it means to “taste and savor.” Instead of swallowing our food almost whole, we may have to ruminate upon it as we ought to do with a favorite text. When a dish is as delightful to see as it is to eat, it ought not to embarrass us to ask for a second helping. Rather than rushing to leave the table, we may discern that slower eating is as necessary for bodily nourishment as slower reading is for spiritual enlightenment.

—from the book Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit 
by Susan Muto

//Franciscan Media//


Minute Meditation – Celebrating with a Meal Transforms Us

A table full of hungry people, celebrating the spirit and the flavor of marvelous food, is a transformative event, exceeding, as do all transcendent experiences, our fondest expectations. In eyes rolling upward, in a symphony of little satisfied sounds, in the ear-to-ear smile of the cook when the dishes are done and the pots and pans are washed—all are witnesses in silent gratitude to the perfect wedding of body and soul.

—from the book Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit
by Susan Muto

//Franciscan Media//


Minute Meditation – The Quiet Joy of Advent

The season of Advent can be overlooked in the run-up to Christmas, but if we take the time to recognize its hum beneath the busyness of shopping, baking, parties, and decorations, we discover the quiet joy it can bring, those moments apart from the giddiness (or the frustration) of December. Even people who work in ministry can get caught up in the preparations for the Advent and Christmas liturgies and lose sight of the deep joy of the season. Advent challenges us to step away from the hectic activity of the world, even if only for a short time each day. Pope Francis is the perfect guide through this season. Not one to shy away from a busy schedule, he has discovered the secret of balancing work with reflection, busyness with quiet contemplation, celebration with solitude, simplicity with the complexities of daily life. And what is at the heart of that secret? Making sure everything is rooted in Christ. The work we do (and the joy it can bring) emerges from a commitment to bringing the gift of God’s love to those we meet.

—from the book The Joy of Advent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis
by Diane M. Houdek

//Franciscan Media//


Minute Meditation – Setting Aside Our Differences

The prophet Isaiah wrote at a time when violence and war were the order of the day. The people of Israel had been conquered by the Assyrians and would later be taken into exile. And yet Isaiah could speak of a hope rooted in the Lord’s call for justice and for peace. Our own world seems to be increasingly violent. We might think that Isaiah’s vision is further away than ever before. The Internet brings violence from the far corners of the world into our lives, but we also know that there is violence in our cities, our neighborhoods, and even at times in our own homes. But we also hear of hopeful and heroic actions, often by a few individuals standing in the face of darkness and offering what light they have.

The journey through Advent brings us to the Christmas celebration of God’s intimate presence in human existence. What we discover is that in our waiting for Christmas, God is with us all the way along the journey. In ancient times, people traveled together for safety and support. Often they needed to set aside differences and overcome a fear of unknown traveling companions because the world outside their caravans held too many threats to travel alone. We too find that the more we try to set ourselves apart from others, the more we are threatened by a world “out there.”

Isaiah’s words about swords and plowshares naturally bring to mind war, weapons, and global strife. We might think there’s nothing we can do about such sweeping issues. But think about the ways in which you use words as weapons every day. How might you transform them to words of tolerance, compassion, and love? If we are to be a sign of God to all peoples, how can we behave toward people of other races, religions, or lifestyles in such a way that they will be attracted to the Word of life that motivates us?

—from the book The Joy of Advent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis
by Diane M. Houdek

Minute Meditation – Set an Intention

Presence exacts its coin —
our dearly held desire for self-preoccupation,
and the fantasy of control that presumes to preside over and above.
Mystics, artists, and prophets exemplify
this surrender into solidarity;
letting the self be moved by suffering and inspired by imagining.
True spiritual practice harbors this same intention —
the hand-over of self, that places us on a collision-course with grace
and draws us into a deepened state of readiness.
This holy intention
leads to whole, undivided attention,
where we come to know life in its raw fullness!

— from the book Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace
by Joseph Grant


Bible Love Notes – Never Forsaken

Psalm 9 is a beautiful affirmation of God’s character. 

David begins with this promise: “I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” 

When was the last time you told someone about the things God has done for you? It’s a great way to gain perspective, encourage a fellow believer, or share Christ with an unsaved friend.

Next David writes, “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” 

Singing God’s praises is another way to bring joy and perspective to our day. It helps us take our thoughts captive so we can maintain a positive outlook (2 Corinthians 10:5).

David was having problems when he wrote this psalm, and he shared them with the Lord. But he mixed his requests with affirmations of God’s strength and perfect justice.  

When we’re dealing with difficulties, it’s good to remind ourselves of God’s character, His love for justice, His purity, His concern for every detail of our lives.

Verse 10 is the best summary for this psalm: “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” This truth is worth repeating and sharing with others!