St Andrew — the Rock Behind the Rock

I have always had a fond attraction to St Andrew. For me he is the rock behind the Rock. He’s the one who brought his more zesty brother Peter to Jesus.

I’ve always seen him as the strong, silent, steady type standing behind Peter the leader. I see Peter out front while Andrew is behind the scenes. Peter out front keeping the public appointments that Andrew was faithful and detail oriented enough to remember to put in the calendar. Peter making a mess. Andrew cleaning it up. Peter stepping out of the boat, sinking in the waves and Andrew waiting with the towel to dry him off. Peter denying the Lord and repenting. Andrew suggesting that the Lord would probably forgive him. Peter being good at the big shows of faith. Andrew plodding along ready to follow through and persevering to the end.

There’s not that much in the gospel to suggest this except a little details I have always liked. It’s in the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus tells the disciples to get food to feed the crowd. It’s Andrew who comes forward with the boy’s lunch. I reckon Andrew had the faith that Jesus could do something. He offers the lunch, then in a moment of self doubt–and maybe seeing the smirks of the other apostles he says, “But what is that among so many?”

That’s why I like Andrew–because he has that spark of faith, but he also has that shadow of doubt. He has total faith in Christ the Lord, but does not have total faith in himself.

I’m not like that, but I admire people like that. If I’m right, Andrew is the patron saint of all those faithful, solid, dependable behind the scenes people. Where would we be without them? They’re the ones I depend on day by day in ministry. It’s the support staff–always there–always reliable–always following through–always playing second fiddle.

I think that’s what Andrew was like–the rock behind the Rock. If you have someone in your life like that, why not celebrate St Andrew’s Day by thinking of them and thanking them for what they do?

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  • JB

    “If Iā€™m right, Andrew is the patron saint of all those faithful, solid, dependable behind the scenes people.”

    That would make him all the more suitable as the patron saint of Scotland.

  • Sue

    Next to Christ, my rock is my husband. Without him I would not be able to do half the things I do. He gives me confidence and encouragement by simply being solid and steady, he is not demeaning nor overpowering. When he sees a need to speak he lets me know in a straightforward manner that clearly shows he cares. The greatest moment that he stood as a rock for me was in the worst time of the worst illness and suffering I have ever had. He pointedly told me what I had to hear so I would get up and get moving if I was to conquer my illness. He was right. That next day I got out of bed for my love of him. Three days later I got up because I loved life. Now I get up to live for God. He is the reason I am Catholic, and why I can do what I do for my children, and why I can do today what I thought I would never be able to do again. This advent I am doing the St. Andrew’s prayer daily up to Christmas for my husband: For through St. Andrew’s prayers I hope God will show my husband Christ in a live-changing way he has never imagined before. Because finding Christ is the greatest gift I can ask for the man that has been my “Rock” and the reason I can call God my Rock.
    I appreciate any extra prayers for him through St. Andrew.
    Thank you Father for your post! God bless.

  • Jireh

    Fr.D ,

    With all due respect ; ” the Rock behind the Rock ” ? The one and only Rock is Jesus Christ Himself.Peter is a little pebble and not the first Pope. Where in the Bible is that thought? . The Holy Bible is replete with scriptures designating Jesus as the ROCK ! Gen. 49:24 ; Ps. 18: 2; 62:6 ; 89:26;
    92:15;. to name just a few. Jesus is the big R and Peter is the little r.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      You need to read more about the famous passage in Matthew. The idea that Peter is a “little Rock” is Protestant propaganda.