be the first

Nov 30, 2018

Tomorrow (Saturday) evening with Vigil Masses we begin the Season of Advent, the first day of the new Church year, the first day of the month of December and the first day of our Food for Faith daily reflections in preparation for Christmas.

Today’s feast of St Andrew gives us the opportunity to anticipate all these firsts with another first. Andrew was the first disciple of Jesus.

St John Chrysostom writing 1700 years ago reflected

“After Andrew had stayed with Jesus and had learned much from him, he did not keep this treasure to himself, but hastened to share it with his brother. Notice what Andrew said to him [Simon Peter]: We have found the Messiah, that is to say, the Christ.”

St Basil the Great also writing at the same time as Chrysostom really emphasised the firsts:

“Andrew was the first to become an Apostle. It was he who opened the gates of Christ’s teaching. He was the first to gather the fruits cultivated by the prophets, and he surpassed the hopes of all by being the first to embrace the one awaited by all…”

In a society where we are pressured to fit in and follow the crowd let’s not be afraid to be the first to stand and speak for what we know be good and true and beautiful.

If we follow Christ we experience freedom. With Christ we are freed from the trap of following every fad, fashion, celebrity or opinion.

In this way we followers become leaders.

When we seek to follow Christ more intimately we become leaders like Andrew, the first to act and speak with Christ in every situation.

An Invitation:

As we begin this Advent pilgrimage let’s anticipate four weeks of growth in maturity in relationship with Christ. Let’s expect to experience His presence in the midst of our daily realities. Let’s pray too that Jesus will cast out all our fear, giving us freedom so that we will not be afraid to be first to stand and act and speak our faith.


  1. Wonderful reflections on my Patron saint . Thank you Fr John .

    • thank you father john as i live alone it very helpfull for me think about the gospel allways interesting

  2. I look forward to the reflections.

  3. good work Fr looking forward to the rest of advent

    rgds Tom Cotter

  4. Beautiful coincidence. I shared this message with a searching soul today.

    We ask; “What is the Meaning of Life?”

    For discerning hearts: Growth.

    It is good to know The Way.

    Our cups overflow for the asking.

    It is The Supreme Gift from One Source, for all of Humanity, and to be Shared with others with Love, and in Truth.

    It is the Living Treasure of Faith, which sustains Belief; giving Hope and Trust.

    It is our God given Identity, Heritage, and Purpose.

    It brings us Peace amid chaos. Do not be afraid.

    All of this is Sacred and Merciful. And we will have wonder upon wonder.

    Our response:

    In all things, always giving Thanks, Honour, Praise, and Glory to God: and to love and serve our neighbours as He has loved us.

    And also give thanks for the difficulties of life, because they strengthen us.

    Forgiveness is Key. Examining our own conscience is important. De-clutter.

    Anybody can do this:

    Talk to God, about anything, in the name of Jesus. He dose listen, and answers – sometimes immediately, and sometimes in mysterious ways, but always for our benefit and with perfect results. Some times this could be a gentle lesson in humility and patience.

    Just hand everything over to Him, and leave it with Him. Then move on.

    Know His, Love, Peace, and presence. Always giving thanks; and go tell everyone.

    Peace and Joy

  5. Excited to read your comments and to reflected on them

  6. Thanks Father John for inspiring us on the first day of Advent. I look forward to future inspiring thoughts and challenges.

  7. Thank you for these wonderful prayers and ideas. Very happy to receive them and make them part of my life. God bless your work.

  8. Thank you for these wonderful prayers and ideas. Very happy to receive them and make them part of my life. God bless your work.


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