30th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eph 2:19-22
Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Gospel: Lk 6:12-16
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
CALLED TO PROCLAIM: Jesus spends the whole night in prayer before choosing the 12. The choosing of apostles marks an important milestone for Jesus and the foundation of the Christian community. The Apostles Simon and Jude preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia where it is said they had both been sent. Church prays to our Lord today: “O God, through the work of the apostles you have spoken your Word of love, your Son, into our world’s deafness. Open our ears to hear; open our hearts to heed; open our will to obey, that we may proclaim the good news with our lives.” We need to pass on The Good News that came to us through the apostles to others. Let us pray that we may have the courage of the saints Simon and Jude who contributed to this great work of the Gospel even by shedding of their blood.
Prayer: Apostles Simon and Jude, pray for us that we too proclaim the gospel by our life.
THE APOSTOLATE: They are to be sent (apostelle). For now He called them to himself, to be with him to experience Him, to learn from Him and be prepared for the tasks ahead. Jesus picks up from the group, another close-knit group of twelve. Saints Jude and Simon might not have figured prominently in the group at the time. Jesus invited the individuals to live around Him. In a matter of few years they discovered the zero (nothing) is the hero (corner stone). Jesus seemingly ended His earthly journey humiliatingly on a cross. Despite this, these twelve carried the message of resurrection and hope for humanity. Today it is our turn to take it upon ourselves to shed this light, in offering a support hand for the lost souls. Let us do our best to bring light and life to this generation following the examples of saints Simon and Jude.
PRAYER: God our Father, help us to walk in the footsteps of the apostles, ready to lay down our lives for your principles.
CALLED BY NAME: The names of the apostles are recorded and remembered in the Bible and in the tradition of the Church. They were not just an anonymous group of people, nor were they fictional characters. They were with a name and Jesus chose them by name. Jesus knew them and wanted them to be with him. You have a name; you are a specific and special person. You are not just one pawn without face. You have a history and an identity. Yours is not a casual existence. God has thought about you and loved you. He knows you and knows for what you are made. He called you one day to life, keeps calling you by your name. That is your vocation. Can you listen to your name being called?
THE HINGE OF CHRISTIAN LIVING: Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches his disciples how to pray. Before any important function, he turns to God his Father to praise and give thanks. Despite his tight schedule, he occasionally spends the night in the mountains praying. Through prayer, the will of the Father is revealed to him and miracles happen, the sick get cured and sinners are forgiven. As a Christian, it is important for one to have time for individual and family or community prayer. Without dialogue between friends or spouses, friendship is likely to break. Similarly, the busier we are with worldly things and fail to find time to be with God in prayer, the more we widen the gap between God and ourselves. Our prayer should move us closer to God and enable us to communicate to him as friends. He is our Abba Father. If the time spent on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, IMO, Instagram, watching football or soap operas was spent in prayer, then our world would be different. Take time today to thank God for his greatness and marvelous deeds. Tell Him your future plans and ask for his guidance.