October 28: STS. SIMON and JUDE, Feast
Baptized and Sent
At Baptism, Confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist, a series of mystical events take place between God and the human person to prepare him/her for eventual transubstantiation into the Body of Christ. Each sacrament etches an indelible and indestructible divine character into the fabric of the human soul and prepares the human person for immortality with God. From that moment, everyone initiated into Christ becomes one with Christ. Thus, the whole community of the baptized becomes the Mystical Body of Christ in the world. Put concisely, the baptized are the bride of Christ.
The best analogies, which define that fusion and indispensable union between God, Christ and the baptized are the parable of the true vine (Jn.15:1-17) and the priestly prayer of Christ (Jn.17:1-26). St. Paul further reminds us, “You are no longer aliens or foreign visitors: you are citizens like all the saints, and part of God’s household (Eph.2:19).” In other words, the baptized is not just an addition to the household of God but as Paul continued, each of the baptized has an integral and obligatory role to play in the structural maintenance of the holy temple of the Lord (Eph.2:20-22).
In summary of paragraphs one and two, Christ Jesus and St. Paul, together affirm that the baptized is aligned to Christ and everyone has a vital and crucial role to play in promoting the kingdom of God in the world. Peter contextualized this by defining the status and mission of the new priesthood by reminding his audience they are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called them out of darkness into his wonderful light (1Pet.2:9). Put differently everyone who is baptised is a disciple and potential apostle of Christ. We are all living stones building up the body of Christ both in heaven and on earth.
The Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, and the appointment of the apostles in Luke 6:12-19 serve as a reminder to all of us. We who are baptized into Christ, we are not just mere appendices to Christ. No! We are the limbs and organs of Christ in the world. Through our presence in the world, endowed with the Spirit like Christ (Luke 4:18), we are similarly empowered to continue the mission of Christ and bring it to fulfilment before his second coming.
Saints Simon and Jude, pray for us that we may be found worthy of the task assigned to us.