Oct 28 – Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles
St. Simon was an apostle called the Cananean or Zealot because of his zeal for the Jewish law. He was not from Cana, nor a member of the Zealot party. Like all the Apostles, he was a convert, and was trained by St. Peter the Apostle. He evangelised in Egypt and Mesopotamia, though there are traditions of him being in several other locations. Several places claim to have been the site of his martyrdom – Abyssinians claim he was crucified in Samaria; Lipsius says he was sawn in half at Suanir, Persia; Moses of Chorene writes that he was martyred at Weriosphora in Iberia.
- Patron Saint Index
St. Jude Thaddeus was the son of Cleopas, who died a martyr, and Mary who stood at the foot of the Cross and who anointed Christ’s body after death. He was the brother of St. James the Lesser, and nephew of Mary and Joseph. He was the blood relative of Jesus Christ, and was reported to look a lot like him. He may have been a fisherman, and was an apostle.
He was the writer of a canonical letter. He preached in Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia with St. Simon. He was a healer and an exorcist, and could exorcise pagan idols, which caused the demons to flee and the statues to crumble. He was beaten to death with a club, then beheaded post-mortem in 1st century Persia.
His patronage of lost or impossible causes traditionally derives from confusion by many early Christians between Jude and Judas; not understanding the difference between the names, they never prayed for Jude’s help, and devotion to him became something of a lost cause.
- Patron Saint Index
You are no longer aliens or foreign visitors: you are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household.
Having God as a housemate would be pretty cool. God is all-powerful and all-knowing, he provides for me what I need, and he is a generous beyond reproach. It would be a household filled with fellowship, joy, security, and peace.
But life is never that idyllic. We live alone — which presents its unique set of challenges; or we live in community with others. And in living with others, the frailties of the human condition are laid bare.
What I have come to realise is that, everyone is yearning for something. Even the most contented and at-peace people are yearning to, minimally, sustain that condition. And when we map-out the respective Valhallas of the people around us, life becomes very much simpler. Because accommodating others isn’t a capitulation – it is an act of grace where we become razor focused on what we’re seeking in life, and leave at the periphery all that is merely fluff. It is the practice of self-discipline and control, and it is a step closer towards mastery.
The disciples and saints achieved more as a team (as trite as it may be, let me remind you that there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’) by playing to each other’s strengths. Let us heighten our awareness of our own gifts, so that we can see the gifts in everyone else.
(Today’s Oxygen by Gregory Mathew)
Prayer: Help us O Lord, to open our hearts and minds to the blessing that is living in community.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Jesus, for the people you have called into our lives. May we always turn our interactions into opportunities to show your love.