Saint Andrew the Apostle

30th November

St. Andrew was one of the twelve apostles called by Jesus himself. The special mission of the apostles was  laying the foundation of the Christian Faith with the help of the Holy Spirit. The other eleven were:  Peter, James, John, Philip, Judas Thaddeus, Bartholomew, Thomas, James the Less, Matthew, Simon, and Judas Iscariot (who was replaced by Matthias).

In Greek, the name Andrew has a connotation with the word ‘courage’ and being ‘manly’. Andrew was a simple fisherman, but it seems that he had good social skills and that he was a man of action. He was the brother of Peter, and he was the first follower of Jesus. He is referred to as the ‘First Called Apostle’, answering immediately to the call of Jesus, “Follow me”. He was also the first disciple to call Jesus “The Messiah.”
Before following Jesus, he was a disciple of John the Baptist, until John the Baptist himself pointed out Jesus as the One people should follow.

One finds instances in the Gospel where Andrew is mentioned by name:

  • The call of Andrew and Simon Peter (Jn. 1,35-42)
  • Andrew’s part in the miracle of the multiplication of the five loaves and two fish (Jn. 6, 8-9)

Andrew and Philip bring a number of Greeks to talk to Jesus- Consider looking up these instances from John’s Gospel or from a Children’s Bible. Andrew was a disciple who followed Jesus for the rest of his life. A disciple is someone who promises to be a learner and continues to imitate the person he follows. In the case of the Apostles it was Jesus who chose them and they continued to follow Him!

Discuss with the children :

Are we disciples of Jesus? Did Jesus call us? 

We cannot follow Jesus physically on the road but we have been called to follow Him when we were baptised. (Children would love to go back to photos of their Christening. Let them register the date to be remembered together with their birthdate.)

Jesus continues to invite us to be His disciples, to follow Him, to imitate Him. Jesus still invites us to “Come and See” as He called Andrew, when He calls us to be loving, while other ‘voices’ around us call us for other things. We cannot follow Jesus unless we get to know Him. 

How do we get to know Jesus?
Lead them to reach the conclusion that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, tell us a great deal about Him in their Gospels. This could be an opportunity to start regular “Meeting Jesus Moments”. 

Choose a parable, a miracle, an event from the Gospels. Narrate it, read it, look it up in an illustrated Children’s Bible or from the Gospels for the older ones.

Spend a brief moment of reflection. . . 

  • the qualities of Jesus we see in these situation
  • what they would have done if they were there
  • what they think is the message for us as His disciples

Andrew, like all the other disciples, after being strengthened by the Holy Spirit, was full of enthusiasm to tell everyone about Jesus.  That was his mission as a disciple of Jesus. And that is what he did. This is what missionaries continue to do today. They have been called for a special mission to spread the Word of God to people who have not yet heard about Jesus Christ. But God has also a mission for each one of us.  We are called to be His disciples with the mission of sharing God’s love for others.  This is called EVANGELISING.

Pope Francis talks about “new evangelising”. He says it means “ sharing our Christian ideas and beliefs, bringing God’s love and hope to others” so that “our love for others makes visible God’s mercy and tender love”.

How can we do all that? 

  • Getting close to Jesus through the Eucharist (the Mass and Holy Communion, as well as joining the Sacrifice of the Mass and Spiritual Communion on the Internet, when it is not possible to be physically present in church) 
  • We can do it by the way we behave, wherever we may be. 
  • Encourage the older children to be active by participating in discussions at school, in friendship groups, in parish pre-teens groups, not to keep back from putting forward ideas that promote God’s love in the Christian Faith. 
  • Consider involving older children to search with you Christian Quotes that you can circulate on the Internet (under the adult’s name of course!)

Let us remember that as parents and guardians, we have the opportunity to lay the foundations of discipleship and the mission of envangelising in our children’s lives so that they do not grow up “being casual Christians”

This fisherman, brother of St. Peter, was the first Apostle that started following Jesus. In fact the name Andrew in Greek means ‘’The first called”.

Let’s us be inspired by St. Andrew and this week we try to think on different ways how we should follow Jesus.

Look at this sheet and be inspired!

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.