As is the case for most of the apostles, we don’t know a whole lot about St. Andrew. And I think that’s appropriate, because what we need to know about them is that they were followers of Jesus, and were devoted to him. We too are called to that same great devotion.
There are two presentations of Andrew’s discipleship in Scripture. In the Gospel story we have today, Andrew is called at the same time as his brother Peter. They are both fishermen, and are casting their nets into the sea. Jesus, of course, has plans for them to cast nets for bigger fish, for souls for the kingdom, and so he calls them. They immediately drop their nets and leave their father and turn to follow them.
I always wonder what would make them do something like that. After just one call, they drop everything they have ever known, turn away from their family, and go off to pursue the admittedly greater call to follow Christ. But why? Yes, we know who Jesus is, but did they? Maybe they had heard him preach, or had heard about him in some way, but I often think of my own call, which took years, and am amazed by their seemingly instantaneous decision to drop everything and follow Jesus.
The second presentation of Andrew’s story comes in the Gospel of John. In John’s Gospel, Andrew is a disciple of St. John the Baptist. One day, Jesus is passing by and John says, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Andrew and another one of the disciples follow Jesus and he asks them what they want. Andrew says, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” To which Jesus replies, “Come and see.” So they do, and then it is Andrew who goes to get Peter and present him to Jesus.
Either way, the call is a great one, and the response of Andrew is one of wonder and openness. We are called often in our lives to follow Jesus in some new way. May Saint Andrew be our patron in those calls, and may his example lead us to drop what we are doing and follow our Lord.