SS. Simon and Jude, Apostles| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Sts. Simon and Jude
Jude is so named by Luke and Acts. Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is not mentioned elsewhere in the Gospels, except, of course, where all the apostles are mentioned. Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. Actually, Jude had the same name as Judas Iscariot. Evidently because of the disgrace of that name, it was shortened to "Jude" in English.
Simon is mentioned on all four lists of the apostles. On two of them he is called "the Zealot." The Zealots were a Jewish sect that represented an extreme of Jewish nationalism. For them, the messianic promise of the Old Testament meant that the Jews were to be a free and independent nation. God alone was their king, and any payment of taxes to the Romans—the very domination of the Romans—was a blasphemy against God. No doubt some of the Zealots were the spiritual heirs of the Maccabees, carrying on their ideals of religion and independence. But many were the counterparts of modern terrorists. They raided and killed, attacking both foreigners and "collaborating" Jews. They were chiefly responsible for the rebellion against Rome which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
As in the case of all the apostles except for Peter, James and John, we are faced with men who are really unknown, and we are struck by the fact that their holiness is simply taken to be a gift of Christ. He chose some unlikely people: a former Zealot, a former (crooked) tax collector, an impetuous fisherman, two "sons of thunder" and a man named Judas Iscariot.
It is a reminder that we cannot receive too often. Holiness does not depend on human merit, culture, personality, effort or achievement. It is entirely God's creation and gift. God needs no Zealots to bring about the kingdom by force. Jude, like all the saints, is the saint of the impossible: Only God can create his divine life in human beings. And God wills to do so, for all of us.
"Just as Christ was sent by the Father, so also he sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This he did so that, by preaching the gospel to every creature (cf. Mark 16:15), they might proclaim that the Son of God, by his death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan (cf. Acts 26:18) and from death, and brought us into the kingdom of his Father" (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy).
Letting God In:
God is close, and his miracles are everywhere. He is with each of us on the road we must travel through life. He can work miracles for us every day if we merely recognize his presence and allow him to be part of our lives.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Anxiety is vain and useless.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 301: The Communion of Saints
One motivation we should have for working diligently at spreading the Mercy of God is the reality of the Communion of Saints. Understanding this eternal communion will enable us to realize that what we do now we will rejoice in forever in Heaven. For example, if you go out of your way to share the Mercy of God with another and this Mercy is received and affects that soul for the good, this fact will be known and proclaimed for all eternity as you share Heaven with this person. Imagine spending your whole life on Earth spreading the Mercy of God as your greatest passion. And then imagine spending eternity glorying in the effects of this Mercy in the lives of countless other saints who are in perfect communion with you in Heaven, some on account of your holy efforts. Pondering eternity in this way will motivate you to fervently make it your most central mission in life to spread God’s Mercy to all whom you meet and in the way our Lord inspires you (See Diary #1471).
Do you ever think of Heaven? Spend some time today thinking about this glorious reality that awaits us. What will you delight in once in Heaven? Certainly you will delight in God, but reflect today upon the delight you will have when you see clearly the effects of the love you have shared with others. These merits of grace will live on forever. Think about these treasures that await and try to allow them to become an inspiration to you and a motive for your work of Mercy.
Lord, I pray that You will inspire me continually to work diligently at spreading Your works of Mercy. Use me, dear Lord, and touch many lives through my efforts. Keep my eyes on Heaven and help me to make this goal the guiding force and motivation of my love for others. I give myself to You, dear Lord. Use me to save souls. Jesus, I trust in You.