It would be good if every Christian were able to name the twelve apostles of Our Lord. It might help to remember that in the original group called by Jesus, there were two Simons, two Jameses, and two Judes or Judases. One of the Simons had his name changed by Jesus to Peter and became the first Pope; the two James are sometimes distinguished as James the Greater and James the Less; and then, when Judas Iscariot betrayed Our Lord and then committed suicide, the other eleven chose another to replace him: Matthias. This should help us remember the twelve. The other six are Andrew, Bartholomew (sometimes called Nathaniel), John, Matthew, Philip, and Thomas. Saint Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter, and John was the brother of James the Greater.
Another interesting fact that we might reflect upon today is the quotation from the Old Testament in the first reading of today’s Mass. Because the apostles were essentially preachers of the gospel, we read, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” The “good news” to which reference is made means the gospel of Christ. And the Old Testament quotation is an earthy one, indicating that even THE FEET of the bringers of that good news are beautiful! In those days, people often went barefooted or wore only sandals. As a result their feet were often dusty, dirty, and the skin of the feet was not particularly attractive. It was a common courtesy for a host to wash his guest’s feet, or have a servant do so, when the guest arrived in his home. But here, because of the immense value and importance of those who brought the Divine Word of revelation, even his FEET were considered beautiful and worthy of honor! So today, as we celebrate Saint Andrew, the fisherman turned preacher, apostle, bishop, martyr, and saint, we smile as we make our own the Biblical idea that because of the importance of his vocation, even his FEET are beautiful! Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This Message was composed some years ago.