Embracing the cross of Christ

by Callie Nowlin

North Texas Catholic

11/29/2018

 Apostle St. Andrew by El Greco, 1610


Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle, November 30


Steps to Lectio Divina

Start by using these steps to reflect on the Scripture verse. Then read my meditation slowly.

Lectio: Having asked for the grace to hear God's word, read the passage twice.

Meditatio: During the second reading, pause whenever so moved and reflect on a word, a sentence, or an image that strikes you.

Oratio: Speak directly to God, and open your reflection to Him.

Contemplatio: Listen contemplatively for any response God might choose to make. Remember that God responds to us at times with loving silence.
 

The Scripture

From the first reading for November 30, 2018, Feast of St. Andrew (Romans 10:9-18)

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

 

Reflection

While most of the Twelve Apostles died as martyrs, St. Andrew is one of the few who were killed on a cross. He was one of the very few who, though they ran from Him at Golgotha, were able to remain close to Him in their remaining years, even to the point of dying in a manner similar to Him. There is no question who and what he stood for in his life. Andrew’s words proclaimed that “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and his actions said nothing less.

Paul deftly reminds us that God requires this integrity of the internal and the external. It is not enough to merely have an idea about something. To “confess Jesus as Lord” here literally refers to what we do in the Rite of Baptism. (See Acts 8:37 and Acts 16:31.) We are asked to make a public profession of faith, to affirm and to take as our own the tenets of the creed. And again when we make this profession in the Mass we declare and promise before all of creation that we renounce Satan and all his empty works. “This is our faith; this is the faith of the Catholic Church.”

While many martyrs are shown with the weapon or method of their death, Andrew is often depicted as clutching or embracing the cross on which he died.  Each time we renew our baptismal promises, we are asked to examine our fidelity to what we say. To examine whether we are willing to stand and to even die for the truths that we profess, or if we are merely giving lip service to these sacred promises.

 

Callie Nowlin, MTS, is the Director of Religious Education for Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Abbott and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Penelope .

While most of the Twelve Apostles died as martyrs, St. Andrew is one of the few who were killed on a cross. He was one of the very few who, though they ran from Him at Golgotha, were able to remain close to Him in their remaining years, even to the point of dying in a manner similar to Him. There is no question who and what he stood for in his life. Andrew’s words proclaimed that “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and his actions said nothing less.

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