Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle
Did you know that one fourth of the bones in our body are in our feet? Amazing things, our feet. With our feet we dance, play football or kick the can. With our feet we are able to stand and not fall over.
Some people are footmen or foot soldiers. Some people stand in the footlights, get a foothold or are just footloose. Sometimes we put our best foot forward, put our foot in your mouth, read footnotes, foot the bill or live in the foothills.
Amazing things, our feet. The most amazing thing about feet, be they small or big, dainty or calloused, is that they can be…the feet of Christ.
It was Teresa of Avila (1515–1582) who said that. She said,
“Christ has no body but yours…
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good…
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.”
In our first reading today, St. Paul quotes from Scripture: “How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the good news.” (Cf. Isaiah 52:7). Then in the gospel of Matthew we see Jesus walking along the seashore and calling Peter and Andrew to follow him. Jesus goes on to call others to follow him.
For three years these early followers were disciples (“learners”) and walked with Jesus, listening to his words and learning from his example. Later, after they witnessed Jesus’ death and resurrection, he sends them forth to preach the good news to the whole world. (Cf. Mark 16:15) ow, as apostles (“those who are sent”), they put their feet in action (along with their mouths) and “their message goes out through all the earth.”
At Mass we listen to the Gospels and, like the early disciples, learn from Jesus’ words and example. At Mass we also remember Jesus’ death and resurrection. Then, nourished with the body and blood of Jesus, we become apostles and are sent forth to preach the good news of the gospel.
If you are reading this reflection, I’ll bet you believe that Jesus is Lord, and that God has raised him from the dead. I’ll bet you are preaching those truths by your words and example. I’ll bet your feet are really beautiful!
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/