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Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, The Vigil of Saint Andrew the Apostle

A Homily by St. Augustine the Bishop
Because John was the friend of the Bridegroom, he sought not his own glory, but rather bore witness to the Truth. Did he manifest any desire that his disciples should remain with him instead of following the Lord? Nay, he himself shewed his disciples whom they should follow. Because they thought of him as the Lamb, he spake unto them in some such words as these : Why wait ye on me? I am not the Lamb, look ye there, and behold the Lamb of God. As we have read above, the one thus pointed out was he of whom John once before had spoken, saying : Behold the Lamb of God. And would ye know of what use to us the Lamb of God is? Behold the Lamb of God, saith John, which taketh away the sins of the world.

Let us see what then came to pass : And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. This doth not mean that they companied with him continuously from that time, but only that they thereafter considered themselves to be Christ’s disciples rather than John’s. for it is manifest that they clave unto Jesus only in the time whereinafter he had called them out of the ship. Thus it is added : One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. Matthew describeth how they were finally called, thus : Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers ; and he saith unto them : Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men ; and they straightway left their nets and followed him. And from this latter time they clave into him, so as never to depart.

Concerning the former occasion we read that Jesus asked : What seek ye? They said unto him : Rabbi, (which is to day, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? So at this time they are said to have followed him, but not in the sense of cleaving unto him as though never to depart, but in the sense of drawing nigh unto him, in obedience to the words in Ecclesiaticus : If thou see a man of understanding, get thee betimes unto him, and let thy foot wear the steps of his doors. He saith unto them : come and see : so they came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day. O what a blessed day they passed! And since it was about the tenth hour, what a blessed night! Who shall tell what they heard from the Lord? O let us make a house in our heart whither he may come, and there teach us, and abide with us.
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that as we do prevent the festival of thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, so he may implore thy mercy for us ; that we being delivered from all our iniquities, may likewise be defended against all adversities, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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