They saw where Jesus lived, and they stayed with him.
Spurred on by the testimony of John the Baptist, the glorious
apostle Andrew left his teacher and ran to the one pointed
out by him. John’s words were his signal, and, moving more
swiftly than John could speak, he approached the master with
obvious longing, his companion, John the Evangelist, running
beside him. Both had left the lamp to come to the sun.
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. He was the first to show that the precepts of the law
were in force only for a limited time. He was the first to
restrain the tongue of Moses, for he would not allow it to
speak after Christ had come.
Yet he was not rebuked for this,
because he did not dishonor the teacher of the Jews, but honored
more the sender than the one sent.
In fact Andrew was seen
to be the first to honor Moses, because he was the first to
recognize the one he foretold when he said: The Lord God
will raise up for you from among your kindred a prophet like
Listen to him.
Andrew set the law aside in obedience to
the law. He listened to Moses who said: Listen to him.
He listened to John who cried out: Behold the Lamb of God,
and of his own
accord went to the one pointed out to him.
Having recognized the prophet foretold by the prophets, Andrew
led his brother to the one he had found. To Peter, who was
still in ignorance, he revealed the treasure: We have found
the Messiah for whom we were longing.
How many sleepless
nights we spent beside the waters of the Jordan, and now we
the one for whom we longed! Nor was Peter slow when he heard
these words, for he was Andrew’s brother. He listened attentively,
then hastened with great eagerness.
Taking Peter with him, Andrew brought his brother to the Lord,
thus making him his fellow-disciple. This was Andrew’s first
achievement: he increased the number of the apostles by bringing
Peter to Christ, so that Christ might find in him the disciples’
leader. When later on Peter won approval, it was thanks to
the seed sown by Andrew.
But the commendation given to the
one redounded to the other, for the virtues of each belonged
to both, and each was proud of the other’s merits. Indeed,
when Peter promptly answered the master’s question, how much
joy he gave to all the disciples by breaking their embarrassed
Peter alone acted as the mouthpiece of those to whom
the question was addressed. As though all spoke through him,
he replied clearly on their behalf: You are the Christ,
the Son of the living God. In one sentence he acknowledged
both the Savior and his saving plan.
Notice how these words echo Andrew’s. By prompting Peter the
Father endorsed from above the words Andrew used when he led
Peter to Christ. Andrew had said: We have found the Messiah.
Father said, prompting Peter: You are the Christ, the
Son of the living God, almost forcing these words on Peter.
said, “when you are questioned, use Andrew’s words in
reply. Show yourself very prompt in answering your master.
did not lie to you when he said: We have found the
Turn the Hebrew words into Greek and cry out: You
are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”
Sermon 3-4: PG 28, 1104-06)
Basil of Seleucia (d. 459) became archbishop of Seleucia
about the year 440. He is remembered for his fluctuating attitude
in the events which preceded the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
He voted against Monophysitism at the Synod of Constantinople
in 448, but at the “Robber Synod” of Ephesus in 449
gave his support to Eutyches, the originator of Monophysitism.
Then at the Council of Chalcedon he signed the Tome of Saint
Leo, which condemned Eutyches. Thirty-nine of Basil’s homilies
have been preserved. They show his concern to place the exegesis
of his time within the reach of all.