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Thirsting for He Who Thirsts for Us


“Their message goes out through all the earth.” ~ Psalm 19

Today our Church celebrates two of the men that Jesus’ chose to be counted among the twelve, Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles and Martyrs. These men preached the Gospel primarily throughout Mesopotamia and then later in Persia and Saint Jude’s Epistle of course forms part of the New Testament.

Saint Jude Thaddeus was in fact a blood relative of Jesus Christ and the brother of Saint James the Less, who was also selected by Jesus to be among the twelve. Saint Jude was largely known for his evangelical prowess, healing ability, and the countless exorcisms he performed. His physical appearance was said to have closely resembled that of Jesus'. He is the Patron Saint of impossible causes, desperate situations, and hospitals.

Saint Simon, known to many as Simon the Zealot, was one of the more obscure of the twelve, nonetheless earning his name for the ardor with which he defended the honor and divinity of Jesus. He was known to swiftly display holy indignation towards those who claimed Christ with their lips while dishonoring him with their choices, words and actions. It was after Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven that Simon and Jude traveled in haste to Persia where they would preach the Gospel until their martyrdom in the year 65 A.D.

The Gospel passage chosen to commemorate these two prolific men (Luke 6:12-16) reminds us that Jesus prayed all night before choosing the Apostles. As such, he serves as the perfect prayerful example for each of us

Yet despite the fact that he was born of the Father before all ages and one with the Father by virtue of the Holy Trinity, his prayer resulted in the selection of Judas, who as we know would go on to hand him over and thus trigger the chain of events that would result in Jesus’ passion and death. We too often bring our prayers to God the Father and receive less than desirable, oftentimes tragic outcomes. Even amidst the wreckage of Judas‘ betrayal and what might appear to have been an ill-fated selection, from this comes the Resurrection, wherein Jesus, the capstone as Paul calls him in today’s 1st Reading (Ephesians 2:19-22), pulverizes death while swinging open the Gates of Heaven in dramatic and glorious fashion. Indeed a greater good emerged, fueled by an incomprehensible love, the love that Jesus had for mankind. "Whether we realize it or not,” Saint Augustine once said, “prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him."

Jesus prays for you, and for me, and for everyone. Like Saint Simon and Saint Jude, each of us have been sent, uniquely equipped with diverse talents and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Most of us will be bit players like Simon and Jude, but in his love for us, Jesus cherishes our participation. He is supremely confident that, drawing on his immense ocean of grace, we will hear and answer our calling and thus accomplish everything that we are called to accomplish in the name of his Kingdom

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Saint Simon and Saint Jude, pray for us.

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