Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Feast of Saint's Simon and Jude

What does it mean to be chosen by God?  Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of two people who not only where chosen by Christ but also suffered martyrdom for their faith.  What can we learn from these readings?  How do they apply to us as Catholics today, 2000 years after they were recorded?

While looking at the first reading I wanted to ask myself, how does that apply to me?  The reading talks about the Apostles being the foundation of our faith.  That the church Jesus left us with was built on them as the base.  That's an important thing to us as Catholics.  We are an apostolic faith.  That is we believe in the teachings of the Apostles, as handed down through their successors, and recorded in the Scriptures.  So we hold to those teachings, we trust in them and we try to live as the Apostles did.  We listen to their testimony about who Jesus is and what that revelation means to us as humans.   We learn from them more about our relationship in this covenant of love that unites us with God as his people.

There is an important thing though to notice in that reading.  The Apostles are indeed the base, the foundation of our faith.. but Jesus is the Capstone.  It is Jesus himself that holds us together in our faith.  Without a capstone an arch, a building, a pyramid.. they all fall.    The capstone holds all the weight. It is the 'key' to the entire structure.  That shows us a very important thing.  We are not a people of the book, we are a people of God.  The book is part of the foundation, it was given to us by the Church, by the apostles.. but the key, the key to the Church, to understanding the book, to our faith in it's entirety is a person.   The person of Christ.  It is through him, through his support, through his guidance and his spirit that we are lead to not only understand our faith (and our book) but also to be able to follow it.  When we try to do things on our own, our flesh gets in the way.  That is why we keep falling into the same sin over and over.  We don't turn it over to God and let him take it away, we try to fight it on our own.  "I got this" we say.  It's only when we humble ourselves, humble our own egos, that we begin to say "I don't have this Lord. I am struggling.  I need you to help me."  We have to make him the Capstone of our lives, so that he holds us together.  Without him, we ourselves fall apart.

Just as the Gospel reading reminds us that Jesus personally called each and every one of his 12 Apostles, even Judas who would betray Him, he also calls each of us into a relationship.  He wants us to step out of our world, out of our comfort, and to build a temple for Him.  A temple of living stones,  all support and held together by Jesus Christ himself.  He has been calling us since the moment of our birth, are we ready to listen?  Are we ready to turn it all over to him? Or will we just sit where we are, afraid to respond?  It's ok.  You don't even have to move.  All you have to do is make Him the Capstone, and he will lead you out. 

The LORD will fight for you; you have only to keep still. - Exodus 14:14 NAB

"Be still and know that I am God," the Psalmist reminds us.    Elijah stayed still in the cave.  He listened for God and found him in the silence.  God has been reminding me over and over to be still, to listen for Him, and then do what He guides me to do.  So my challenge to you today, is to get in some quite time.. some 'still' time with God.  Find a quiet place, away from the sounds and influences of the world, and spend some time just listening for God's voice.   Find an adoration chapel, a Sanctuary to sit in with the reposed Christ, or even just a quiet corner in your home and say "Speak Lord, your servant is listening."  Then be Still.   Listen for His call.  Realize he has already called out to you, he has already chosen you, he is just waiting for you to realize how much you mean to him.

In Christ, His Servant and Yours,