‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus (John 12).
Today is the feast of St. Andrew, one of the twelve and the brother of Peter. He is not usually in the spotlights and ready come forward as his brother does, always something to say, but more the quiet follower. But nevertheless, a faithful follower of Jesus. He is mentioned a few times in the Gospels. He is present to accompany Jesus and learning from him. Today he appears as a kind of intermediary between Jesus and the Greeks.
We often think of the 12 apostles as pillars and heroic martyrs. Of course, they were the first bishops entrusted with teaching and leading in Jesus’ name. But the call of a disciple was first of all to be a student. To learn and to follow the ways of the teacher. Jesus, the teacher, shows them to a new way. They will leave their occupation as fisher men and become ‘fishers of men’. Does that mean they never fish again? No, that doesn’t mean it. It would still be an occupation to support the ministry of Jesus. But ministry and God comes first from now on. And that is the same for us. Our secular job is something that helps us in our ministry.
Later on, the apostles gradually learn who Jesus really is. But with falling and rising up again. Sometimes they don’t understand Jesus at all. They mess up and their interpretation of what Jesus says is different of that which he means. And that is often the same with us. We have to be careful to listen carefully to the Lord, stay close to him, so we don’t misunderstand him and do the things that are not what the Lord wants us to do. The call to discipleship is a call to learn about Jesus first. It does not mean were better than others, but we can be an example to others, once we have learned from Jesus. When we are called by Jesus to be his disciples, we become students of him and servants of the one Lord.
Advent is an opportunity to begin this journey of discipleship again. We can refocus on Jesus and understand to what his words mean. Even if we just like Andrew, not exactly know where that way leads us or thinking we have all the answers. The most important thing is to be with Jesus and to let him teach us. And so, in this season of Advent we pray: “Come Lord Jesus come and teach us”. Amen.