The two Apostles went to evangelize Armenia and Persia, and they were murdered in the city of Suanir in 47, Anno Domini.
Saint Simon was also called Simon the Zealot, probably because he had been a member of the nationalist party of Zealots who refused to recognize any foreign yoke over Palestine. Zealots were those who had a especial zeal for the independence of the Palestine, that is, they did not want the Holy Land to fall into the hands of any pagans whatsoever. Since the Zealot cause had some good points – commendable in some aspects – it is understandable the Lord recruited one of His Apostles from its numbers.
The mother of Saint Jude was Mary Cleophas, a sister-in-law of the Virgin Mary, stood with her by the Cross of Jesus on Calvary. His father was Cleophas [Clopas or Alpheo in Aramaic], a brother of Saint Joseph. Therefore, he was the legal cousin of Jesus. Jude was one of those his fellow countrymen called a “brother” of the Son of the Carpenter, because it was a custom among the Jews at that time to call cousins brothers. He wrote an epistle to combat the Gnostic heresy, which was just beginning to appear.
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon tied the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and talked, as is oft the case, of the need for action, not simply diction and are all tied together.
Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles. [October 28.]
God, who hast built thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner-stone; Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity
RANT, we beseech thee, merciful Lord, to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Collect says that we must have the Lord’s pardon and peace, but we have to ask for it before we have it. If we don’t ask for it, we don’t get. Like the old Cowboy saying “If You Don’t Work, You Don’t Eat.”, which the basics of is covered in another letter of Paul’s to Timothy. In this case it is “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”, so we ask Him we might have the willingness to ask and receive His pardon and peace.
The Collect for St. Simon and Saint Jude mentions that Jesus Christ is the head corner stone. They are referring to He is the main foundation rock for the Christian Church in that all of the principles of Christianity are derived from Him. The Summary of the Law is an excellent example of showing that Jesus is our chief cornerstone. It also asks that God might grant that we might be joined together spiritually with the theology of Jesus that the Apostles followed two millennia ago.
It makes the point we should share their same faith of Jesus Christ being our Savior, Mediator and advocate. It is asking for us to receive that same zealous spirit the Apostles had in following Him, that we might be a follow their good examples in following Jesus.
The second part of the collect says that we might be made an holy temple acceptable to God. Meaning we must be cleansed of our impurity and the Holy Spirit might enter to cleanse our souls, so they might be acceptable to God. This is a process that like many others in Christianity will take the rest of our earthly lives to work on. Like being a good pilot, we should always be learning in our spiritual lives.
Being a good learner involves being willing to face your mistakes and make the needed corrections. This applies to flying, work and your spiritual life as well. We have to be good learners, to make our bodies an acceptable temple to God.
In the Epistle, Paul exhorts us to act, following Christ as the “Chief Cornerstone”, or the Head Bishop of the Church, with us following under His Orders, as he is our Commanding General. And he tells us that we must not only think like Christians, but the key word is Act. If we do not act upon our thoughts and words, how are we any better than those who went before the Christians, like the Jews of old, who said one thing and clearly did another. And in His message, and understanding it, with the Gospel’s message also that we, no matter how tough it may be to do it sometimes, we must follow His will rather than ours, and we may not be loved or liked by the world for it.
Which brings us to the point of the Gospel, in which Christ warns the Apostles that this won’t be an easy milk-run, rather it will turn dangerous and they have to face the choice between the World and life on Earth, or death and Life in Christ and God eternally. He tells them they will face many persecutions for His sake, and they will be rewarded in time, for the trials and tribulations they suffer in His name.
Christ also explains that had he not come and talked to the evildoers, that they would freely be able to deceive us, but now that He has come and revealed them for who they truly are, that they will not be able to hide in their wickedness, as they persecute mercilessly His flock, which he had warned them about earlier in His Gospel. His point is, though they may persecute you, their evilness will shine through their falsified, nice demeanor they show the world, and yet, when they act with malice in their hearts, their evilness shall come out through their actions and deeds. In our words and deeds, our goodness must shine through our actions and deeds, to counteract our badness which also comes out through words and deeds.
The Collect, Epistle and Gospel tie together, laying out, detailing and reinforcing the same message, ultimately. We have to ready and willing to accept the fact that we will be persecuted, and we must use the help that God provides, by asking for it, and that in the end that Good will triumph over Evil, with the wick-doers deeds of malice showing through their supposedly kind exterior. In these days of trials and tribulations, we must follow this three step process that I have at the end of my sermon, Be of God, Live of God and Act of God most especially.
Be of God - Live of God - Act of God
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