Word Magazine November 2000 Page 22


By Very Rev. Stephen Rogers

On the final day of November, the Church celebrates the feast of the “All-praised and First-called Apostle Andrew.” Andrew, a disciple of St. John the forerunner and Baptist, was with St. John along with another disciple (probably John the Evangelist) when Jesus passed by. Upon seeing Jesus, the Baptist proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36).

We are told that Andrew and the other disciples followed Jesus and were asked by Him, “What do you seek?” The disciples inquired of Jesus where He was staying and He said to them, “Come and see.” What was it they were to come and see? Andrew discovered the answer to that question and reported it to his brother Simon Peter: “We have found the Messiah!” (John 1:41).

From this invitation almost 2000 years ago until today, Jesus Christ continues to beckon with the words, “Come and see.”

Even as He called Andrew to the place where He dwelled, so too are we invited to that same place today. Where is that dwelling place? Paul gives us the answer in his epistle to the Ephesians: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23).

In the Church we experience the fullness of Christ and his salvation. In the Church, God’s love for man is made manifest. The ageless longing of man, that which philosophers and theologians have sought since the beginning of time, is made known to us. Who we are, our purpose for being and what our ultimate fate will be is made known to us when we “come and see.”

“For it has been given to you to know the secrets of heaven” (Matthew 13:11). “ . . . That the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10. “ … The mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from generations but now has been revealed to the saints” (Colossians 1:26).

Come and see . . . in the Church we find the true meaning and purpose of life. For in the Church we can say, “We have found the Messiah,” who is the Way, the Truth. and the Life (John 14:6).

If we desire to know the truth in our lives, the “truth that shall make you free” (John 8:32), then we must “come and see.” This is the invitation and offering of the Church. Through its sacraments, our journey through the liturgical year, the reading and hearing of God’s Word, the fellowship of the faithful, we find the Messiah, we find our eternal peace and salvation.

This being true we must take care to heed the words uttered in the book of Hebrews: “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away . . . how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation which at first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard them” (Hebrews 2:1, 3).

The same Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who called Andrew calls us today. “Come and see” and in so doing you will find the Messiah. “You, O holy Andrew, were the first to follow him. You were offered as the first fruits of the human race. You proclaimed to Peter, your brother, ‘We have found the Messiah!’ Pray that He may enlighten and save our souls” (Vespers of the feast).

As we celebrate the Feast of St. Andrew the First-called, may we, like Him, heed the words of our Savior and “come and see.”