Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Commemoration of St. Andrew the FIrst Called Apostle

In the [G]ospel according to St. John, Philip calls his friend Nathanael to "come and see" Jesus, but it is Jesus Himself who invites Andrew to "come and see" where He dwells and to spend the day with Him, together with another disciple of St. John the Baptist, who is probably the evangelist himself.

Come and see! This is the abiding invitation of the Church in her liturgical services. Come with faith and you will be numbered with those to whom "it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 13:11).

The feast of Saint Andrew, with the chanting of the first of the prefeast hymns of the Nativity, marks the beginning of this paschal journey in a special way.

When He who was proclaimed by the voice of John the Forerunner,
"The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,"
Came bringing life and salvation to all the earth
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 of St. Andrew

--Thomas Hopko, The Winter Pascha pp.29, 30, 31.

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