October 28, 2014

Simon and Jude

October 28, 2014:  SS. Simon and Jude, Apostles

Look - Finding Jesus in your life will bring you closer to God. Saying YES to God and being like the Apostles and Saints is our primary vocation.
"Finding Jesus" shirt made for St. Philip Benizi's
Confirmation Retreat 2013
Listen - One must hear God's call in order to respond.
Here I am Lord / Eric Tom

  • Eph 2:19-22  You're no longer strangers and sojourners but fellow citizens, members of God's household, with Christ as capstone.  Through him the structure grows into a sacred temple; in him you're being built into a dwelling place of God.
  • Ps 19:2-5  "Their message goes out through all the earth."  The heavens declare God's glory.
  • Lk 6:12-16  After Jesus spent the night in prayer, he called his disciples, choosing 12 and naming them Apostles:  Simon whom he named Peter, his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon (called a Zealot), Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

I love how the first reading gives much light to Gospel. By first meditating on the first reading, one can envision the laborious fruits that the Apostles laid down for us.  Because of them, and with Jesus and the Holy Spirit as their guide, we are here today as fellow believers; we are all brother and sisters in Christ. We belong.

What an honor it must have been to be Called by Jesus himself, in the flesh, to follow him. Knowing now, the history of their work, I see it as a no-brainer to follow Christ, but I don't imagine it was such an easy decision for them. In fact, we know it was a difficult decision because Luke tells us of the Would-be Followers of Jesus (Lk 9:57-62).

It is also beautiful knowing that the same Triune-God calls us to greatness as well because we too have a choice to go and follow the path God has given us. Saying yes to God's call to holiness is our first vocation. We too can impact this world as the twelve Apostles and all the saints before us have done so. God is calling... God is asking us to continue the work set forth by our brothers and sisters who are already in Heaven.  

We can be like those would-be followers and place things on a higher level of importance. We can place God last in our lives. But imagine, for a moment, the possibilities if we always say yes to God's will? I assure you, its a lot nicer of a picture than saying no.

Sts. Simon and Jude... Pray for us!

    • Creighton:  Our commitment to follow Jesus puts us at odds with the culture in many ways, but we share the company of the saints.  I belong to something bigger than myself, even with my hopes and dreams.  Life as citizen and household member has responsibilities.  How am I living up to the privilege conferred upon me? / Jesus chose imperfect disciples, including ones who would desert and betray him.  Can I find hope and faith when I feel like an alien?
    • One Bread One Body:  "House of the rising Son":  The Catholic Church is maligned now:  leaders scorned, dissent from within...  It was in Jesus' time too:  apostles had their failings.  Rejoice that you, a living stone, are called to be "fitted" into the Church, that you're resting upon the shoulders of the apostles and their successors.  Go out take the place Jesus made for you.
    • Passionist:  "Their message goes out through all the earth" was Simon and Jude's role and is ours.  "Every baptized person is called to speak of their faith and invite others to share it, becoming ‘missionary disciples' just as Jesus' first followers." (Evangelii Gaudium 120)  How do I share our faith and spread the message of Christ?  May you find a place, person, event, or process that nurtures your call to proclaim the message of Christ.  The Spirit of God will lead and sustain us.
    • DailyScripture.net:  What is God's call on your life?  Jesus chose ordinary people to be apostles:  non-professionals, common people, uneducated, no social position; he chose them for what they could become under his direction.  When the Lord calls, don't think you have nothing to offer.  The Lord takes what we can offer and uses it for his kingdom.  What holds me back from giving myself unreservedly?  People came to Jesus because they heard what he did.  They were hungry for God and wanted healing; power came from Jesus and they were healed.  Jesus offers freedom to all who seek him with faith.  How do I respond?
    Thanks again, for allowing me to be a guest blogger. God bless you all.



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