October 28, 2016
Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
The Gospel Today
Luke 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
REFLECTION (Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon)
Before choosing his disciples, Jesus went up the mountain and spent the night there doing what he usually does before an important event in the Gospels – He prayed. He went up the mountain to commune with his Father and spent a night being one with Him. It just goes to show how Jesus and the Father are One because Jesus’ will is one with His Father’s will, just like the selection of his disciples that would serve as his mouthpiece in spreading the Good News.
When I was young, I was told that we have to pray a certain novena in order for God to answer our specific prayers. If I wanted to pass a very difficult exam, I would go to St. Jude and ask for his intercession. If I misplaced something important and I cannot find it, I would go to St. Anthony and ask for his intercession. It was like finding that saint that would fit my specific needs. With the many wants that I had before, I was not even sure if the Church had a roster of saints that could address all of my wants. But then again, I was looking at prayer in a very different, self-serving way. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is showing us to look at prayer in a different light. First, the Father does not “screen” our prayers. He listens to them all regardless of the nature or form. We may not get what we exactly want but that is only a bonus if we get it. Prayer is about being one with the Father and that is the second point. We have been used to using prayer of supplication. It is all about asking something for ourselves; what we desire. We forget that prayer is the time our hearts unite with the Father. We need not ask God for something if our hearts are united with Him. He already knows it even before asking them. Third, prayer is a constant uniting of our will with God’s will. The more we pray, the more we are inclined to surrender to His will, giving up our wants and desires. It is His desire that matters most.
Choosing the twelve disciples of Jesus, including Sts. Simon and Jude on whose feast we celebrate today, was very crucial in our Salvation History because all played a part in the fulfillment of the Father’s will. Just imagine, if Jesus did not choose Judas Iscariot, who would betray him and turn him over to be crucified? It is counterintuitive to ask for something that we do not like but if our will is one with God, whatever hardships and trials that come our way, God will give us the grace to embrace it. Because as we look at the example of Jesus, our decision to be one with the Father would lead us closer and closer to the fulfillment of His Divine Plan for us.