Admitting you are a sinner frees you from having to keep up appearances, it frees you from having to be right all the time, it gives you the humility to be able to drop your own agenda and simply adopt Jesus Christ's. It is also the only honest self-assessment that a human being can have, so it frees you from illusions about yourself or others. -from What Pope Francis Really Said
† "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye. In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And there too we discover the progress we are making and how far we are from perfection." — Pope St. Gregory the Great
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞ "Just as God's creature, the sun, is one and the same the world over, so also does the Church's preaching shine everywhere to enlighten all men who want to come to a knowledge of the truth. Now of those who speak with authority in the churches, no preacher however forceful will utter anything different—for no one is above the Master—nor will a less forceful preacher diminish what has been handed down. Since our faith is everywhere the same, no one who can say more augments it, nor can anyone who says less diminish it." — St. Ignatius of Antioch, p. 194 AN EXCERPT FROM Witness of the Saints
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Saints Simon and Jude
Saint of the Day for October 28 (1st Century)
Saints Simon and Jude's Story
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 mentioned. 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. Reflection
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.
Lord, God, my Creator, Be close to me now. My soul yearns for your presence.
There are very few people who realise what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius) I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.
There is a time and place for everything, as the saying goes. Lord, grant that I may always desire to spend time in your presence. To hear your call.
Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 19:2-3, 4-5 R. (5a) Their message goes out through all the earth. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth. Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Today I pray in wonder and gratefulness for this small group of men, the Apostles. With all their shortcomings and mistakes, it is through them and their total trust in Jesus and in his Spirit that the Gospel has spread to the whole world, including to my own heart. I ask for their spirit as I hear Jesus call me by name to be an apostle in my own small world.
▪ They were also the disciples of Jesus, those who were witnesses of his power and also of his great compassion when faced with human suffering. At the end of his life he told them they could also consider themselves his friends. I pray to be worthy of this great honour, and for the ability to consider Jesus as one of my friends.
Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words. You can see into my heart. You know my desires and you know my needs. I place myself into your hands.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Luke 6:12-16
Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles (Feast)
When day came, he called his disciples to himself. (Luke 6:13)
According to tradition, Sts. Simon and Jude worked as a team preaching the gospel in Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, where they were eventually martyred. However, not much more than that is known, and even this much is not historically certain. So why do we honor these strangers as saints?
They were friends of Jesus. They shared daily life with him. They learned by his example of how to live, how to love, and how to forgive. Then, after Pentecost, they played a role in beginning the Church. That's all the proof the Church needed.
But what about proof of their exceptional holiness? Well, we can look at some of the more famous apostles and ask the same thing! Peter denied Jesus; James and John wanted to destroy a town that had rejected him. The best evidence for recognizing the sainthood of Simon and Jude—and anyone, for that matter—is that anyone who has a vibrant relationship with Jesus grows in holiness. It's a simple equation: the more time we spend with Jesus, the more saintly we become—even if nobody else is around to see it.
Of course, this means that you are a candidate for sainthood too. It's not, first and foremost, about performing heroic deeds for God. It's about the relationship. Saints love Jesus and love his people.
You don't have to be a high-profile Catholic. You just need to be faithful to what Jesus asks you to do each day. As you pray for your family, work hard to provide for them, or sacrifice yourself for your neighbors, you are pleasing the Lord deeply. These silent acts of love are precious to him, and he always rewards them.
Who knows? It's possible that in heaven we will discover that God has given the highest place to humble servants of God whose names nobody knows. Maybe we'll be surprised by some of the people we find in the company of the apostles: "average" people, "everyday" people who never founded a religious order, suffered martyrdom, or converted thousands. All they did was love Jesus and try their best to follow him. That's all any of us ever needs to do.
"Lord, I want to be more like you. Help me walk humbly with you every day."
From the first Holy Scripture "You are no longer strangers...you are fellow citizens with the holy ones...built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone" you who are baptized, you who have been anointed with the Holy Spirit, you who have been called even to this point of reading this right now, God has chosen me, God has chosen you, to be what the Apostles were...followers of Christ, and those who would spread the Word of God...the Kingdom of God!
We prayed today "Their message goes out through all the earth." and "Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message." What is your message? The question is of your message today, the right NOW, not yesterday's, not tomorrow's, but TODAY! What is your message? What is your life proclaiming, and teaching? I hope it is for the Kingdom of God, and the LIFE! They sent me a tire cover I custom ordered, and it was supposed to come in one week and it took about a month, and it was "lost" in the mail. It's funny how pro-life gets attacked. I remember one time me and my wife were going to pray at a planned parenthood abortion site, (it's not a clinic because they don't represent hospitals correctly, they are unsafe and unsanitary, although current government says otherwise), as we were driving, we were driving through a light, and someone decided to cut us off, and we crashed, and we nearly got thrown into a concrete canal that was pretty deep. Evil wants to block the message of pro-life. Check out the tire cover, I finally got it and put it on yesterday...
If you can't see the picture, it says in large letters PROTECT THE UNBORN. There is a tiny image of a tiny person, unborn, and it says around it "I Am A Person". At the very bottom it says "Pray, Vote, Defend" and at the very top it says DT:30:19. Why did I veer off onto this story? Because, we need more messengers. And what is your message? And how bold will you be about your message? How bright will be your light?
In comes the Lord today, and He is said to have prayed the night before, perhaps all night, USSCB footnotes says "Luke regularly presents Jesus at prayer at important points in his ministry: here at his baptism; at the choice of the Twelve (Lk 6:12); before Peter's confession (Lk 9:18); at the transfiguration (Lk 9:28); when he teaches his disciples to pray (Lk 11:1); at the Last Supper (Lk 22:32); on the Mount of Olives (Lk 22:41); on the cross (Lk 23:46). HE prays. Do I pray? Do I spend the night in prayer for something important and world changing? For the decisions to be made? Have you prayed before making any and all decisions? The Lord prays, and the Spirit chooses the Apostles. "I want YOU" says the Lord. And I'll tell you what, this calling is special, it is powerful, and it is an honor to be chosen by God. It should be humbling..."who am I Lord?" Yet, He sees a poor sinner, and says "you are mine", I have chosen you. Even this writing to you is a choosing, because perhaps it won't reach the ends of the world, but it has reached your world, and that is what matters.
And the matter is of LIFE.
And JESUS our God says "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE!"
Thank you Lord for choosing me, help me do your will, and only yours, for yours I am and yours I wish to be