28 October 2015

Simon and Jude, a call to obedient praise

One this Feast of the Apostles Simon and Jude, Holy Mother Church presents for us Saint Luke's account of the call of the Twelve.

Commenting on this passage, Saint Bonaventure offers an etymological reflection on the names of each of the Apostles, from which we can draw an example. We need only concern ourselves with the two martyrs commemorated today:
And Simon, whose name means obedient, who is called the Zealot, which means zealous imitator. By this means of an example is given of perfect humility which strives for successive levels of love. For this reason I Peter 1:22 has: "Now that your obedience to love has purified your souls for a brotherly love that is sincere, love one another wholeheartedly and intensely." Sirach 3:1 reads: "The sons of wisdom are the congregation of the just, and their generation is obedience and love.

Jude, which means one who praises, son of James, so that he might be an example of steadfastness in doing works. Matthew 5:16 says: "Let your light shine before men and women, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven. Wherefore, Tobit 12:6 has: "Bless the Lord of heaven and praise the Lord in the sight of all living things." Thus in Deuteronomy 33:7 this is said the blessing of Jude: "His hands will fight for him, and he will be his helper against his enemies." For this reason Jude went up ahead of the others, as it is said Judges 1:1-4 (Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, 6.39-40).
From these two names, then, we can see that we are called to live lives of obedient praise. By the very witness of their blood shed out of love for Jesus Christ, these two holy  men show us the way to live in obedient praise of him "who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing" (Jude 24). 

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