Saints for the day: Simon and Jude, Apostles
Ephesians 2:10-22 – Psalm 19 – Luke 6:12-16
“These are the holy men whom the Lord chose in his own perfect love; to them he gave eternal glory.” (Today’s Entrance Antiphon)
Any “link” to these two apostles will only give us the briefest account of their lives. They were perhaps “Zealots,” one of many Jewish sects at the time of Jesus. This being the case, I think it reminds us that when Jesus selected His inner circle of leaders, he didn’t always select “lily-pure” men but chose ones who would be able to carry some part of His message out into the world after His death and Resurrection. It’s not so important for us to know where they went and how they spread the message of Jesus as it is to know that tradition tells us that they did! This fact also tells us that we don’t have to be earth-changing followers of Jesus in order to ultimately find our names written in the Book of Life. I’ve said it many times in these reflections that we don’t have to do exceedingly marvelous deeds in our lifetime to gain a place in heaven. If, at the end of our lives we can look back and see that we have been the means of just one person changing the direction of their life for the better, that will be enough for us to hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Because you have shared the blessings that I gave you with someone in need, enter into the joy of your Lord. (my own translation of Matthew 25:23) What we have to remember is the fact that God doesn’t expect us to love and be nice to everybody in the world. We just can’t slam the door in the face of someone who comes to us in need. Here at St. Dominic’s, we have many street people who come into the church when it is first opened at 6 o’clock in the morning. Many of them try to get a little sleep by laying down in the pews which we try to discourage. When I’m in the church at that early hour saying my rosary and come upon someone laying down on the pew, I just say, “Good morning, friend. Can you sit up and maybe pretend like you’re praying. It might do you some good!” One time, one of those men told me, “thank you for not being nasty to us. It means a lot to us to be spoken to in a nice way.” Every time I have to tell someone to sit up I have to think, “there, but for the grace of God go I.” Each of us need to be able to see our own call to be apostles as we share the Love that God has planted in our lives with the people we encounter in our day-to-day journey. Amen!