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November 30 - Feast of Saint Andrew

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
 Readings: Romans 10:9-18; Matthew 4:18-22

The first reading for the feast of St Andrew is a short but insightful outline of the role of preaching in God’s saving work. It states that faith comes from hearing but asks ‘how can they hear unless there is a preacher for them?' Though this text could in general terms by applied to all the apostles, and others besides, it is particularly appropriate for St Andrew based on what the New Testament records about him. He had no sooner come to faith in Christ than he proclaimed this to his brother, Peter - "we  have found the Christ” – and he took Simon to Jesus (John 1:40-41). Later he was involved in introducing the Greeks to Jesus, a very significant portent of the later spread of the Gospel beyond the confines of Palestinian Judaism and indeed of Judaism itself (John 12:20-22).

Andrew’s example highlights certain things at the heart of preaching. Being a preacher involves having a conviction of just how important faith in Jesus can be to others. It also means having the love, genuineness, and sensitivity necessary to share the Gospel appropriately with others. It means having the faith to point the other person to Jesus and even to usher them gently into the presence of the living Christ. It also involves realising that Jesus then has to make the crucial difference and leaving space for this direct encounter between others and Jesus.

In these ways St Andrew still serves as a model for all who would preach the Gospel, not least the Order of Preachers itself.

St Andrew, pray for Dominicans and for all preachers that we may have the zeal and love to speak appropriately of Jesus and the Gospel, as well as the expectant faith and prudent patience to trust Jesus to make himself real to people in God’s own timing and way, Amen.

Andrew Brookes OP


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