Commentary on the Gospel of
Faith Comes from What is Heard
The words of St. Paul for this Feast of St. Andrew focus our attention on the simple truth that, whether for apostles in the first century of the Church’s life, or today, “faith comes from what is heard.” Although for many of us, the moment of our baptism may be regarded as the beginning of our journey of faith, the growth in that faith comes from the experience of people speaking about the One whom they know and love.
St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans surrounds that truth with the wonderful words of the prophet Isaiah: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” These words move us to celebrate the journeys and labor of Andrew and the other apostles. Yet, the words are also an invitation to cherish those who have spoken to us about “the One whom they know and love.”
Today would be a wonderful day for us to do some serious prayer and reflection on the concrete individuals who have been “apostles” for us, those sent by the Lord to give witness by word and deed to the Lord himself. In addition to marveling at the individuals who have most immediately brought us to deeper faith, we might pause to consider the long line of others who passed on the faith to them. Perhaps we might even dare to imagine who in this long line of our individual faith lives was the first to hear the name “Jesus” and to put faith in him?
At every turn, back through decades and even centuries, the reality is the same: faith comes from what is heard. Let us give thanks for all that we have received and ask the grace to be instruments to awaken faith in others in our own day.