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Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
In those days he departed 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.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have called me to collaborate with you in spreading your kingdom of love. Strengthen my faith, hope, and love so as to respond generously to your call.
Lord, I humbly ask the grace to listen to your voice.
- Jesus Spent the Night in Prayer: Jesus’s profound union with the Father is exemplary. We are called to imitate his desire for union with the Father as did all of the great saints. “Love to pray. Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself,” says St. Teresa of Calcutta. When we pray, we turn to the Father, like Jesus did to better know the Father’s will. We ask to grow in the desire to act according to his will. We look to Jesus who shows us how important it is to pray, especially when we have important decisions to make.
- Jesus Called Disciples: Jesus knew that his choice of Apostles would affect everything about the new church. He prayed about who to invite and, when he extended the invitation, he hoped they would follow. Jesus knew that each one was created for a mission and would find fulfillment in carrying out his mission.Yet Jesus did not force this invitation upon them. He allowed them to respond freely. In the same way, God calls each one of us for a specific mission and gives us the freedom to choose the path of God’s will or the path of our own will. Those who fulfill their mission will find fulfillment, and win eternal life as well.
- Judas the Traitor: Choosing to respond positively to God’s call does not mean that once we follow Christ, salvation is assured. There are twists and bends along the journey, temptations and falls, growth and success, and the opportunity to lose everything. Judas, who stood so faithfully by Christ’s side up to the end turned away to become a traitor. We must be on guard, renewing our love for God in our hearts every day, participating regularly in the sacraments, and seeking to conform our behavior to the Gospel standard.
Conversing with Christ: Dear Lord, you teach me important truths about my eternal destiny in these lines of Scripture. Prayer is essential to finding and living out the specific mission you have for me. Through prayer I will stay connected to you so that I may be your friend always. Sustain me in the life of grace. I ask when I pray the “Our Father,” “Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil.” Grant that I may be a faithful follower up until the very last moment of my life.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will make a small sacrifice as a renewal of my love for you.
For Further Reflection: Do Something Beautiful for God: The Essential Teachings of Mother Teresa—365 Daily Reflections.
Written by Renee Pomarico.