My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and forever!
The Gospel message this Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time is clear: we should love the Lord with all our being, and our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40). The greatest law is the law of love. If we heeded this call, there would be no longer the kind of oppression described in today’s reading from the Book of Exodus (Exodus 22:20-26).
The Apostles chosen by Our Lord Jesus Christ are great examples of men who followed Christ completely. Devotion to the Holy Apostles is cherished by Catholics because they were the first teachers of our Faith. During the Middle Ages the Apostles were held in high veneration, but in our materialistic age, this devotion has greatly declined.
Recently, some Catholic high school students were asked by a priest to name the 12 Disciples. The first Apostle to be named by these students was St. Jude Thaddeus! Devotion to St. Jude has been revived in recent years. St. Jude is beloved by many Catholics and is often called the “Patron of Hopeless and Desperate Cases”, owing to the singular help he has obtained for his clients in difficult necessities. This Apostle bears the surname of “Thaddeus” meaning “amicable” or “loving”, distinguishing him from Judas Iscariot, the traitor.
After the Ascension of Jesus, St. Jude firmly established the church in Edessa, healing their king of a frightful disease and by his eloquence converting the pagan king and his whole household and many of his subjects. St. Jude visited the whole of Mesopotamia, preaching the Gospel and everywhere increasing the number of the faithful. He later joined up with the Apostle Simon and the two Apostles spread the light of the Gospel in all of Persia. Everywhere great numbers were converted to the Faith in all the towns and villages traversed by the Apostles Simon and Jude. The two Apostles were eventually martyred for spreading the faith, by tradition, by being clubbed to death.
St. Jude’s body was brought to Rome and is now honored in St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Paul III granted a plenary indulgence to all who visited the tomb during his feast day, October 28th. Though the body of the holy apostle Jude Thaddeus rests in St. Peter’s in Rome, his helpful, living charity is today diffused throughout the world, and in every country people continue to experience his wonderful aid in difficulties and trials of the most hopeless nature.
St. Jude has obtained grace to overcome deeply rooted evil habits. The Holy Apostle obtains help in anguish, distress, calumny, poverty, misery, even in despair and in circumstances where help seems utterly impossible. In return, we give him our confidence, love and gratitude. In these difficult times in which we live all who are in trouble should pray to St. Jude. St. Jude, pray for us, and for all who invoke thine aid. Happy Feastday!
Pleasant Autumn Sunday to all!