“I can see you are hurting,” she said as she looked into my eyes brimming with tears. Then with a hug that enfolded all my worries in a warm assurance of a future resurrection, my friend said, “You don’t have to tell me what’s going on, but just know that I am offering all my sacrifices for you every day.” For a short moment, her friendship was like sunlight piercing through moving clouds: certain proof of life and joy after the pain of the Cross.
Some friendships wax and wane over time but some friendships, like this one, are proven again and again like a fierce fire enveloping and purifying gold.
When I think of Saint Andrew the Apostle, whose feast we celebrate today, I often think of friendship in Christ. Today’s Gospel shows Jesus calling him and his brother Simon. (Matthew 4:18-22) But in the Gospel according to Saint John, the story is told of Andrew’s first meeting with Jesus. Andrew then introduces Jesus to his brother and begins a chain of events leading other friends from the same town to become disciples of Jesus.
Andrew, his brother, and their friends left everything immediately and followed Christ. They also gave everything including their lives. And we have profound hope because they received everything in return.
The Feast of Saint Andrew helps us to live these unique liturgical days. We have just celebrated the great solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe, and we look ahead to new liturgical year with the beginning of Advent. Sisters, I know many of us are carrying crosses right now. For those who find the holidays difficult, Advent can begin with a feeling of dread.
Let’s look toward Advent with Saint Andrew as our friend and our model of total self-giving in Christ. Would you take a moment with me, right now, to look with your heart to see Our King? See Him who gives Himself totally to be Our Lord at every moment of every day. Let’s draw courage and strength from Him. See how infinitely faithful He has been, is, and will be.
Let’s also remember the Saints—our brothers and sisters in the Mystical Body of Christ—who show us how to leave all, give all, and receive all. Let’s ask the Angels, too, to minister to us.
Sisters, let’s embrace the good news that God is with us. Let’s give everything to Christ and have great confidence we will receive everything in Christ.
Sister Maria Kim Bui is a Daughter of Saint Paul, women religious dedicated to evangelization in and through the media. She is originally from Tempe, AZ, spent most of her fourteen years in religious life in the northeast, and is part of a bilingual evangelization team of sisters serving in Texas. Find out more about her here.