The word “apostle” means “one who is sent.” The problem being we limit that word and its meaning to the 12 Apostles and their successors, the bishops. Each bishop is called to be sent into the world to live and witness to the gospel of Christ, by word and example. For many of the laity, there is a bit of a disconnect in how a bishop lives and teaches. A “wealthy bishop(apostle)” is an oxymoron of huge proportions.
Every baptized person is being sent, I say this in the active sense, to live and witness to the gospel. Every baptized person shares in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ. And every baptized person shares in the ministry of the bishop, the one sent into a diocese to be its servant apostle. Andrew is one of the foundational “twelve apostles” who was the first to be sent by Christ to bring others to him. In John’s gospel, it is Andrew who brings his brother Cephas, Peter, to Jesus.
It is Andrew who goes to a little boy and asks the child to share his lunch, allowing Jesus to multiply the loaves. The boy is the means for the miracle, NOT Andrew!!! Humility at its best is St. Andrew.
If you are reading this and are baptized, you are being sent into the world for a purpose: to help bring others to Christ. How you witness, the manner in which you are living, your knowledge of scripture and catechism, the way you speak of Jesus to others will determine what kind of an “apostle” you are.
The greatest inspiration for me as a priest comes from the laity, those individuals living as apostles who minister in humility with no fanfare. They speak compassionately even when challenging another. They don’t give in to bitterness or gossip. They truly want to bring out the best in others, even those they might find difficult. I am so blessed to have a number of parishioners and staff members who inspire by the way they make the word “apostle” come to life. St. Andrew is smiling upon these beautiful people living out their baptisms.