“Come and See.”

An Icon of St. Andrew the First Called, by the hand of Hieromonk Vladimir.
An Icon of St. Andrew the First Called, by the hand of Hieromonk Vladimir.

“Come and see” (Jn. 1:39). These words have echoed thoughout history, preceding every encounter with Jesus Christ. They have inspired the proclamation of the good news of the Lord’s saving love across the universe, making ordinary men and women become agents of dynamic change, healing the hearts of broken men and women through the incarnate Lord Himself, Jesus Christ.

Centuries later, the question asked of us is: Do we see what St. Andrew the first-called saw, when he heeded Christ’s words?  Do we see what his brother St. Peter. or St. Nathaniel saw when they followed St. Andrew’s call. Do we see what countless generations of men and women have seen in following Christ? Or do we see our own desires and passions dressed up in piety and morality. There is a profound difference if we care to look.

In the same way, St. John’s baptism of repentance showed how limited and incomplete even the most righteous human action is. Like the water he baptized with, it is subject to change by the elements. Our piety and our morality are incomplete if they stop short, seeking only their own ends, our own end, however noble it might be.

But if we, like St. Andrew, having committed ourselves to wanting more out of life, wanting meaning out of life, wanting resolution and restoration out of life, heed the words of our God who comes to each of us saying “come and see”; we make manifest that our  baptism was not with simple water, but with fire and the Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:11). The unchangeable that brings profound change.

May we have the courage and conviction of St. Andrew, who went on to spread the Gospel and good news to the Romans, Greeks and Slavs. And likewise, having put on Christ, ever aware of our baptism, may we continue the work of St. Andrew, and the other Apostles, down to the founders of our little parish, and  proclaim “come and see”.