Feast of Saints Simon and Jude | iPray with the Gospel
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles; Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Jesus prayed the whole night. He prayed for the new Apostles He was going to call that day. They were going to be given great responsibilities. Jesus had many disciples but only twelve Apostles. He was surrounded by thousands but only these twelve were given special missions. That doesn’t mean that the other disciples were just ‘second class’. In a family too there are no ‘second class’ members, but neither do they have the same roles and responsibilities. A football team with 11 players in the same position would never work. When Jesus chose His Twelve no one came to complain to Him because they hadn’t been chosen or because they were better than Peter or joined Him before Matthew… ‘NOBODY has a right to be chosen for a particular vocation’.
God calls some to be priests, some to a celibate life in the middle of the world, some to be monks or friars or fathers or mothers… God made them and knows what He made them for. We can, of course, turn down God’s proposal and do something else with our talents. Bl Álvaro used an interesting example. Imagine that a chair is free and decides that it doesn’t like people sitting on it, so it wants to be a hanger! Upside down and attached to the wall, it insists that 4 coats can be hung on it at a time. Sure, but the carpenter who made it wouldn’t approve of the change. If the carpenter wanted a hanger, he could easily make one (with 4 or 16 hooks if necessary); what’s more, everyone who saw it would think ‘Why is that chair upside-down and hanging on the wall?’ We know ‘what’ it is, regardless of what it thinks it is. You and I have a vocation. We can certainly do different things with our talents and our lives, but the Carpenter knows what He made us for. Mary, Queen of the Apostles, help me to follow your Son where He wants, as St Simon and St Jude did… until the end.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).