Scripture: 1st Reading: Eph2,19-22; Resp. Psalm: Ps19,1-4; Gospel: Lk6,12-19
The coming of Christ into this world changed our status, made us into the universal family of God's people. Where sin and death abounded, grace and justification reigned in their stead. As a result of sin, man became stranger and sojourner, with no rights to lay any claim to anything with God.
With our Lord's coming and his redemptive death that gave us salvation and new life, we are no longer strangers or sojourners. When anyone accepts Him into his life and receives baptism in His name, he becomes a fellow citizen with the Saints and member of the household of God, built on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets.
The life of such a believer becomes rooted in Christ Jesus Himself, the cornerstone, in whom depends and are founded the entire structure of the edifice called the body of Christ, that is, those who believe in His name and are baptized into His death.
This structure grows, develops, is bonded together into a holy temple, thanks to the active presence of the Lord in His Church. Every believer in Christ is built into this temple to become a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Saints Simon and Jude were Apostles of our Lord Jesus. Simon shared name with Simon Peter the head of the Apostles and a faithful witness. Maybe for this reason, he was always in the shadow of this great colleague of his. Jude on the other hand shared name with another Jude who became a traitor. For this reason, his surname is always mentioned, that is, he is always identified as the son of James to distinguish him from the other Jude who was the son of Iscariot.
Both of these great witnesses of the faith were chosen among the first Apostles who formed the inner circle of our Lord's disciples. They followed Him in all His preaching and healing missions. They stayed with Him, learnt from Him and after the Resurrection, they went out to the world to preach the good news, as commanded to them by the Lord Himself.
The Apostles challenge us through their lives of witnessing to live out our Christian calling. This is not meant to be an easy commitment but a constant, daily struggle to understand the call the Master gave to us, live the implications of that call to the fullest of our abilities, give the best of ourselves to the mission He entrusted to us. We have the assurance of the intercession of these great Apostles in this regard. May they continue to assist us with their powerful from their place of rest in heaven.
Let us pray: "O God, who by the blessed Apostles have brought us to acknowledge your name, grant graciously, through the intercession of Saints Simon and Jude, that the Church may constantly grow by increase of the peoples who believe in you." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.