Daily Homily: The Glorious Company of Apostles Praise You

Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles, Oct. 28

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Ephesians 2:19-22
Psalme 19:2-3,4-5
Luke 6:12-16

Today’s liturgy for the feast of Saints Simon and Jude is an invitation to contemplate the vocation of an apostle, the community of the apostles and some of the themes of the Letter of Jude.

The Gospel of Luke indicates that an Apostle is someone chosen by Jesus and that this choice was the fruit of Jesus’ prayer and dialogue with the Father.

We learn in the Gospel of Mark that the Apostles were chosen for three things (Mark 3:13-15). The first is to be with Jesus. An Apostle is called to center their lives on Jesus and live with him. This leads not only to imitation of Jesus, but identification with him. Paul says: it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. John speaks about abiding in Jesus, the true vine, and him abiding in us and giving us life.

Second, an apostle is sent out to preach. The message is that of Jesus Christ: the Kingdom of God. When the apostles proclaim the Kingdom of God, they are proclaiming the dominion and lordship of God, they are proclaiming the mystery of Jesus Christ who came to save us and dwell in us, and they are proclaiming the Church as the beginning and seed of the Kingdom.

In brief, they proclaim God’s plan for humanity: «God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life» (CCC, 1).

Thirdly, an apostle is given authority to cast our demons. This means overcoming the power of evil and the reign of the devil with the power of good and Kingdom of God. Apostles are empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach and to heal.

The Gospel of Luke tells us that Simon was called a Zealot. Pope Benedict writes that even if Simon «was not exactly a member of the nationalist movement of Zealots, he was at least marked by passionate attachment to his Jewish identity, hence, for God, his people, and divine Law» (Pope Benedict XVI, 11 October 2006). If this was Simon’s case, then, the pope notes, he was worlds apart from Matthew, who had been a tax collector for the Romans. What this shows is that Jesus called his disciples and collaborators from the most varied and religious backgrounds. «It was people who interested him, not social classes or labels! And the best thing is that in the group of his followers, despite their differences, they all lived side by side, overcoming imaginable difficulties: indeed, what bound them together was Jesus himself, in whom they all found themselves united with one another» (Pope Benedict XVI, 11 October 2006).

This is an invitation to all of us not to give into the temptation of labels in the Church: conservative or liberal; doctrinal or pastoral; closed-minded or open-minded; traditional or progressive; sacramental or missionary; etc… Like the Apostles we are called to mutual understanding and being of one mind and heart, united in Christ and through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14).

The Letter of Jude tells us something about its author: his concern that Christian communities fight for the true faith against deceivers (Jude 3-4); his caution against those who introduce division into the Church (8); his desire that Christians deepen in their understanding of apostolic doctrine (2); the need for Christians to wait prayerfully and patiently for the Lord; the need to steady the faith of others who waver in doubt and are overcome by deception. He goes so far as to compare those who spread false doctrine to the fallen angels and to those who walk in the way of Cain (11).

On the night of the Last Supper, Jude learned that we must encounter the Risen Christ in our heart: «The Lord does not appear as a thing. He desires to enter our lives, and therefore his manifestation is a manifestation that implies and presupposes an open heart. Only in this way do we see the Risen One» (Benedict XVI, 11 October 2006).

Saints Simon and Jude, then, not only offer us a model of Christian unity and exhort us to deepen in this mystery by welcoming Jesus into our lives, they also intercede before God for us, asking that we may see the Risen One with eyes of faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep ourselves in the love of God, and wait for the mercy of Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jude 20-22).

Readers may contact Fr Jason Mitchell at mitchelljason2011@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Jason Mitchell

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation