Today is the feast of St Andrew. Fr. Meinrad, OSB, talked at Mass about being second fiddle. That was Andrew. The other three mentioned in today’s gospel – Peter, James and John – were all at the Transfiguration. Andrew was not. Andrew heard about Jesus first and then told his brother. From then on, Andrew was in the shadows. His brother Peter even became the first pope. But being second fiddle isn’t that bad. It’s good, for it helps us to remember that we are not first. Not a one of us. Here is the homily from Fr. Meinrad Brune, OSB:
ST. ANDREW, THE APOSTLE – NOVEMBER 30, 2018
In today’s gospel four men accept a job without knowing what their job would be. None of them held back. Andrew, whose feast we celebrate, had the most reason to hold back. Simon, James and John would find more job satisfaction. Those three would witness the Transfiguration, the raising of the little girl from the dead, and the agony in Gethsemane. Simon would become Peter, the rock on whom Jesus built a church, and John would be remembered by all generations as the disciple most dear to his Lord.
Andrew’s future held only obscurity. All later generations would remember of him his name and the shape of the cross he died on and most importantly what he did in his life as a follower of Christ. He was the second place person but he never expressed discontent with his secondary role. Instead, we find Andrew’s life characterized by a consistent, though quiet, devotion to Christ. He apparently was willing to be his own man, even though he lived in the shadow of his outgoing brother. Andrew’s image is much softer. It is an image of the quiet achiever who never gets credit. Instead of a limelight Christian, he lived in the background. He is the Saint of the rank and file.
We may not be flashing and famous like Peter. We may not be a mighty leader like Paul. We may fall well short of the likes of James and John. But one thing we can do: we can bring others to Christ. Like Saint Andrew, we can look beyond our limitations. We can find contentment in Christ. We can move about and see the possibilities in monastic confreres, students, family members, co-workers, donors, oblates, guests and especially those who are “different”. And we can introduce these people to Christ by our life.
Playing second place person is not all that bad. In fact, it can be wonderful, especially if we hear the words in the Letter to the Romans: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news”.