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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memorial of the apostles Simon the Canaanite, called the Zealot, and Judas surnamed Thaddeus

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 6, 12-16

Now it happened in those days that he went onto the mountain to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God.

When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them 'apostles':

Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,

Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot,

Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the Church remembers the Apostles Simon and Judas. Simon is called the “zealot” probably because he belonged to the anti-Roman group of zealots who at times used violence. Tradition says that he preached the Gospel in Samaria in Mesopotamia and died in Persia. Judas, called also Thaddeus which means “magnanimous,” is the Apostle who at the Last Supper asked Jesus to manifest himself only to the disciples and not to the world. His name appears last on the list of the Apostles. Tradition attributes the Epistle of Judas to him, a letter that was addressed to Jews who had converted. We know little of their lives, yet they are no less important than the others. Indeed, the most important thing in the Church is not fame but communion with the Lord and with our brothers and sisters. Yet often what happens in Community is what happened between the Apostles: discussions over who is the greatest. In the Church, the primary focus to be sought is to love and to serve willingly and generously. Jesus called every Apostle by name, including them, so as to underscore their dignity through his love. The love that ought to be between disciples stems from the love that Jesus shows us; it is a fraternal love that brings others to believe in God. In the Bible, a name is not just a useful way to call someone; it is much more: it signifies the story, heart, and life of everyone. When the Lord calls, it happens that one’s name changes, i.e. one’s heart is transformed and one receives a new vocation. For example, Simon became Peter meaning “rock” or “foundation”. To receive a name primarily means to be loved by God, to be indeed called by name. And it also means to receive from God a new task. Being known by name is one of the most precious treasures in life, even the simply human knowledge. The Lord exalts it even more: to be known by him and to call us by name is a sign of a love that has God’s seal. Seen this way, the dimension of familiarity that ought to characterize the life of the disciple should extend to all, starting with the poor. To get accustomed to calling the poor by name can be more than just a little disturbing; it is difficult. Yet there is a link between the name of the disciple and the name of the poor. It is indeed the gift of all being beloved sons and daughters of God, each one with his/her own name.

Memory of the Apostles