May 28, 2020 – Thursday, Seventh Week of Easter
‘Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, [then] what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does mot keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.” – Jn 14:22-24
Jude the Apostle
Jude (also known as Thaddeus) was though to be a cousin of Jesus. His father was said to be the martyr Cleophas, a brother of St. Joseph. His mother Mary stood at the foot of the cross when Jesus died. His brothers were though to be St. Simon and St. James the Lesser, and all three brothers were among the 12 apostles.
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Jude is said to have preached in Samaria, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Libya. He is credited with writing an epistle to the Churches of the East, intended specifically for Jewish converts who were confronted by ongoing heresies. The letter encourages them to persevere in their new faith despite the difficult circumstance they were facing. Jude is said to have been martyred in Armenia.
The feast of St. Jude is October 28, and he is the patron saint of hopeless causes. Why is St. Jude the patron of desperate situations? One explanation is that his letter speaks of perseverance in the face of difficulties. Another possibility is that Jude was often confused with Judas Iscariot, therefore, praying to Jude was considered a “lost cause,” and one prayed to St. Jude only as a last resort.
Jesus said: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…” (Mk 28:19)
Today’s Gospel text is the passage where we find the words for the Sign of the Cross.
So, every time I use this symbolic prayer, I am signing myself with words from the Gospel. But there is much more to being a disciple of Jesus than just making the Sign of the Cross several times a day.
The defining difference for a disciple of Jesus, a Christian, is the conviction that history has been drastically changed by Jesus Christ – in his incarnation, life, death, resurrection.
It is the conviction that the world is different, that this is a new age, and that there is a different way for people to live.
It’s not simply a moral conviction, a principle that I hold. It’s having the eyes of faith to see the difference in the world and to experience it. It’s recognizing the small indicators all around us that the reign of God has begun.
The defining difference for a disciple of Jesus is to go into the world and experience within yourself and within other people the living presence of the risen Jesus Christ, to feel the whole Spirit’s strength and peace.