St. Jude (Simon and Jude)
Jude is so named by Luke and Acts. Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is not mentioned elsewhere in the Gospels, except, of course, where all the apostles are referred to. Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. Actually, Jude had the same name as Judas Iscariot. Evidently because of the disgrace of that name, it was shortened to "Jude" in English.
Simon is mentioned on all four lists of the apostles. On two of them he is called "the Zealot." The Zealots were a Jewish sect that represented an extreme of Jewish nationalism. For them, the messianic promise of the Old Testament meant that the Jews were to be a free and independent nation. God alone was their king, and any payment of taxes to the Romans—the very domination of the Romans—was a blasphemy against God. No doubt some of the Zealots were the spiritual heirs of the Maccabees, carrying on their ideals of religion and independence. But many were the counterparts of modern terrorists. They raided and killed, attacking both foreigners and "collaborating" Jews. They were chiefly responsible for the rebellion against Rome which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
As in the case of all the apostles except for Peter, James and John, we are faced with men who are really unknown, and we are struck by the fact that their holiness is simply taken to be a gift of Christ. He chose some unlikely people: a former Zealot, a former (crooked) tax collector, an impetuous fisherman, two "sons of thunder" and a man named Judas Iscariot.
It is a reminder that we cannot receive too often. Holiness does not depend on human merit, culture, personality, effort or achievement. It is entirely God's creation and gift. God needs no Zealots to bring about the kingdom by force. Jude, like all the saints, is the saint of the impossible: only God can create his divine life in human beings. And God wills to do so, for all of us.
"Just as Christ was sent by the Father, so also he sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This he did so that, by preaching the gospel to every creature (cf. Mark 16:15), they might proclaim that the Son of God, by his death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan (cf. Acts 26:18) and from death, and brought us into the kingdom of his Father" (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy).
Patron Saint of:
Daily Prayer - 2015-10-28
At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
By God's grace I was born to live in freedom.
How do I find myself today?
The Word of God
Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
Reading 1 Eph 2:19-22
Brothers and sisters:
Responsorial Psalm PS 19:2-3, 4-5
R. (5a) Their message goes out through all the earth.
Alleluia See Te Deum
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 6:12-16
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles (Feast)
You are fellow citizens with the holy ones. (Ephesians 2:19)
Okay, class. It's time for a quiz. Take out your pens, and write down everything you know about St. Simon. Then do the same for St. Jude. You can use as many sheets of paper as you need.
This is one quiz you would pass if you were to turn in a nearly blank sheet of paper! All we know for sure is that Simon and Jude were among the Twelve Jesus chose. It's possible that they brought the gospel to Mesopotamia and Persia, but we don't know for sure. They might have been martyred while on their missionary journeys, but we really don't know. What we do know is that they loved the Lord and were willing to lay down their lives for him.
Simon is sometimes called "the Zealot" or "the Cananean" to distinguish him from Simon Peter, but we're not sure whether this title designates a geographical region or a group of political activists.
On lists in the other Gospels, Jude seems to be called Thaddeus. It was once thought that he was the same person who wrote a short letter that's now part of the New Testament, but some scholars now doubt that. For reasons unknown to us, Jude has long been venerated as the patron of hopeless or impossible causes. Perhaps that's because he shares a name with Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. According to tradition, many people were reluctant to ask his intercession; they would turn to him only as a last resort, when all other prayers seemed to go unanswered.
However he got the title, Jude's special designation speaks to all of us. Like the first apostles—a motley crew of tax collectors and zealots and tradesmen—we could never hope to become saints if Jesus didn't call and empower us. We would just be ordinary, everyday people. But thanks to Jesus, we can become so much more!
Most of us can think of a desire close to our hearts that currently seems impossible. Get a firm grip on that desire. Then invite St. Simon and St. Jude to help you lay it at the feet of Jesus. Let them show you that he can do anything.
"Simon and Jude, you were close friends with Jesus. Please intercede with him for this special favor that seems impossible to me."
A while back, a man gave a sermon on Laminin, a protein that holds cells together. When drawn as a diagram in its molecular structure, its shape is like a cross. The excitement in the sermon was a personal revelation, but it is beautiful, because in its end, it compares and shows that Christ holds us together, love holds us together. What else can hold us together? What's more important? Substitutes will fail, eventually. I say this because lately, I've been hearing alot about divorces. People want to hear the Church change, to "get with the times" and to stop hating on people. Point the finger. The Church is made of people and is held together by God, Love. What separates us is these lies from the devil that are saying "the Church needs to change", that way, we don't have to change, we don't convert, we don't have to be that Holy, we don't have to obey, we don't have to be humble. Somehow, we are held together. If things seem impossible, it is not so for our Lord. It may be impossible to escape suffering, but no person gets out alive, we must all die, because we are held together through Him, and He died too. The next phase is what should phase us now.
"Their message goes out through all the earth", we pray today. Who's message?
Today our Lord chooses who will take the message, and set the foundation on 12 pillars. Regular people, through whom which we are tied through Christ who transcends time. These pillars set up Heaven on Earth with our Lord. Did the Lord make a mistake with one of them? Did He pray all night for nothing? Does the Lord make mistakes? No. We do. We want things to go our way, and that's when we get in His way. That's when we want the Church to be a democracy, and it is NOT. If you let the people decide then evil will decide because of concupiscence, our tendency to sin. Let this be a lesson because we belong in His Kingdom. I asked the RCIA class last night about the Lord's prayer, "what do you think it means when we pray 'Thy Kingdom Come' ". As the Holy Spirit spoke, I said, it is making HIM our King. It means we are subjects, servants. It means, like I told the workers this morning "we are helpers, I'm your helper, you're my helper, we are all helpers". These are the people God chooses. These are the ones He prays for. These are the ones He asks to do His will. If we change His plan, we do it to doom ourselves. When we give Glory to God we don't give Him anything more but help ourselves. When we sin we don't do anything more than hurt ourselves. The beauty then, is the opportunity to remain. The glue, the protein is there, in the shape of the cross, it is Christ. Whether we make Him our King or not, doesn't take away that He is the King of Heaven and earth. The King of the Kingdom is almighty, and this love is said by saints that if we knew His love for us, we would go crazy in thanksgiving. The message is then important as ever...pray before saying anything. Pray before doing anything. Pray because that is more important, because it means you are bringing God into the world. The message goes forth this way throughout all the earth..through you and me. Silence is deadly unless it is used to listen to the Lord our God speak to the heart.
St. Jude, of impossible cases, let us break our silence so we can speak out about what is breaking us apart. Lord be with us, we need your strength, your protein, your body, your love, your everything to make it through...