A garden of flowers delights most people!
A garden consists of a variety of flowers, with varied colours, sizes, shapes.
Some flowers tend to capture our attention more…some escape the gaze of our eyes.
>> However, this in no way, reduces or increases their relevance and importance.
>>> Each flower has its own specialty.
>>> Each flower has its own attraction.
Jesus in His garden of ministry, chose twelve apostles.
>> Some apostles tend to capture our attention more…some escape the gaze of our eyes.
However, this in no way, reduces or increases their relevance and importance.
>> Each apostle has his own specialty
>> Each apostle has his own attraction.
Today Holy Mother the Church celebrates the feast of two apostles: St Jude and St Simon.
These are apostles, who in most probability escape the gaze of our eyes.
>> These two saints are usually known as the “unknown apostles”.
Yet, they have their own greatness before God and their own importance to inspire us in our lives!
The scarcity of their appearance in the New Testament is so vivid that except in the list of the names of the apostles…
… the name of Simon never appears elsewhere whereas the name of Jude makes only a single appearance in the discourse of Jesus after the last supper (Jn 14: 22).
In the Gospel of Matthew & Mark, the apostle Simon is given the title of a Canaanean, while Luke mentions him as “Zealot”.
This apostle Simon must have belonged to the Zealot Party.
>> The Zealot Party was a first-century political movement among Judean Jews who sought to overthrow the occupying Roman government.
According to the Jewish historian Josephus, four main Jewish groups existed at the time of Christ – the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes and the Zealots.
The Zealots were known for their aggression and violent behaviour.
>> They advocated that no one, but Yahweh alone should rule over Israel and hence, obedience to the Roman government should be refused.
The selection of Simon, the Zealot as an Apostle, is a great insight into the workings of Jesus, in His Kingdom Ministry…
The Lord accepts us with our hard instincts.
>> The Lord takes into account our various mentalities and mindsets.
In His Divine Love, He squashes all such factors and patterns us into people fit for His Kingdom.
>> He doesn’t reject us in our over-zeal.
>> He doesn’t cast us away because of our impulses.
All that He expects is an openness to follow Him fully and allow ourselves to be moulded!
The Apostle Jude is given another title by St Matthew and St Mark: Thaddeus.
>> Thaddeus means “the courageous heart”
St Jude is one of the most popular saints in our world today, considering the fact that he is often called as “The Miraculous Saint”.
>> St Jude is the one whose aid is often sought when all hope is lost, especially in grave illness & life-&-death situations.
There is a story that since his name is identical with Judas Iscariot, who had betrayed Jesus, St Jude would hardly be interceded too, except in the most desperate situations!
>> And hence, perhaps, he got identified as the ‘Patron in Helpless Causes!’
St Bridget of Sweden & St Bernard had visions from God asking each to accept St Jude as ‘Patron Saint of the Impossible’.
The Apostle Jude teaches us a few insights for our spiritual growth:
1. Like the name – Jude Thaddeus – we are invited too, to have a “heart full of courage”.
The Kingdom of God requires brave soldiers and people of immense valour.
The Lord needs followers who are imbued with the might of His Holy Spirit and who boldly proclaim the Gospel and witness its values by their lives.
No situation of discouragement or setbacks will hinder the march of a “Courageous Heart”!
2. St Jude, as the Patron of Desperate Cases, inspires us to have a deeper faith and trust in the Providence and Mercy of God.
The Lord is all-knowing.
> He wills what is best for us.
However, in our human frailty, we often tend to lose our hope and become highly desperate.
But this Saint teaches to grow deeper in our faith & know that “behind every dark cloud is a silver lining of the sun… (Son!)”!
3. St Jude also teaches the powerful role of Intercessory Prayer.
We are all created in the Image and Likeness of God, and each of us have a bounden duty to the other…
… to take care, to love each other and to pray for one another.
When we pray for others and bring others to the presence of God, we help them in their difficulties and join with them in solidarity and compassion.
There are many hidden flowers in a garden.
>> Yet, each one has its own beauty and fragrance and value.
These two apostles – St Simon and St Jude – are fairly hidden in the Gospels, and yet we can learn and be inspired much by them.
May the life and intercession of these two hidden, yet Great Apostles of the Lord…
… impel us further, to love God and His people…
… and spread the Gospel of God to many more!
Happy Feast of the Apostles St Jude and St Simon.
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Devotion is simply a spiritual activity and liveliness by means of which Divine Love works in us…
… and causes us to work briskly and lovingly.
>> And just as charity leads us to a general practice of all God’s Commandments…
… so devotion leads us to practise them readily and diligently!”