Read: Ephesians 2:19-22, Ps. 19:2-5, Luke 6:12-16
“So, then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
As we celebrate the Feast of two out of the twelve great apostles, Simon and Jude, our readings challenge us to reflect on the concept of our election and choice before God. First and foremost, we must understand that nothing happens to us by chance. There is no such thing as mere luck or “random selection”
We are products of a God who is purposeful, a God who prepares things beforehand, a God of whom Jeremiah spoke about as saying: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Jesus did not do guesswork in his choice of the apostles. He didn’t select them according to their good looks or merely according to their line of trade. He spent a whole night in prayer, consulting with God who has plans, before making his choice. Like every good parent, God has plans for us his children.
No responsible parent brings a child into the world without first making certain plans on how to ensure the future of that child. In fact, parents already have ideas of what they want their children to become even before they are born. It is in this light that St. Paul tells us in today’s first reading that we are not just strangers or foreigners to God, we are his children; citizens of God’s household.
As long as we continue to pray the lines of “Our Father,” which states, “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we continue to remind both God and ourselves that we are not strangers, we are his children and we want his plans for us to come to pass in our lives.
God wills the best for us, but there are times when our own will, runs contrary to the will of God. There are also times, we tell God out rightly, “I know what you want for me, but God, let my own will be done instead.” Every sin is a deliberate attempt on our part to reject the will of God for us. And you know what? God does not force his way on us.
That is why we should not be surprised that having spent a whole night in prayer, having asked for discernment over the choice of the twelve men who would carry on the message of salvation to the rest of the world, Jesus, being God, in all his wisdom still chose Judas Iscariot, the very guy who would betray him. As much as the twelve were equally tempted, only Judas gave in to it. He had a chance like Simon and Jude to fulfill God’s will in his life as well.
So, we celebrate Simon and Jude today because they COOPERATED with God. They were chosen, but they also worked hard, they strove to live above temptations, they carried out Jesus’ instructions and they proclaimed the Gospel to millions.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help me to fulfill your plans for my life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles – Feast. Bible Study: Ephesians 2:19-22, Ps. 19:2-5, Luke 6:12-16
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu