Tag Archives: God’s will

Saints Simon and Jude

Simon Rubens

St. Jude LaTourSaints Simon and Jude, whose feast we celebrate October 28, are mentioned only a few times in the New Testament list of apostles,  tenth and eleventh respectively. (Mark 3,13-19, Luke 6,12-16)

Simon is called  `the Zealot,’ either because he was zealous for the Jewish law or because he was a member of the Zealot party, which in the time of Jesus sought to overthrow Roman domination by force.

Some of Jesus’ followers,  the Gospels indicate, were hardly pacifists. Peter was ready to use his sword in the garden of Gethsemani when the temple guards came to seize Jesus, and James and John told Jesus to call down fire from heaven on the hostile Samaritans whom they met on their journey to Jerusalem.

Simon, therefore, may thought of revolution when he answered Jesus’ call .

Jude, called `Thaddeus’ to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot, may be the brother of James, the son of Alphaeus, some interpreters of the Gospel say. If that’s so, he’s also a relative of Jesus. He may be the author of the Epistle of Jude in the New Testament.

Early Christian traditions – all difficult to prove historically – locate the ministry of these apostles in places as far apart as Britain and Persia; one important legend from 3rd century Syria says they were apostles to Syria. If so, we ask their intercession for that troubled place today.

Knowing little  about  Simon and Jude may be a good thing, because then we have to look to their mission to know them –they were apostles.

The mission of the apostles was to follow Jesus. “ ‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ Jesus says in the Gospel of John. He also said “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.”

God made his will known to the apostles  in due time. They didn’t decide what to do and where to go by themselves. They knew God’s will day by day, as we do.  So often, it was unexpected, and perhaps not what they planned.

“Your will be done,” we say in the Lord’s Prayer. That’s an apostle’s prayer. We try to make it our prayer too.

Friday Thoughts: Pure Faith

by Howard Hain

.

“God won’t let His power flow through someone who demands clarity.”

.


20170929_064112

“The Crucified One” (H. Hain, 2006)


.

Faith. Pure Faith.

 


 

Howard Hain is a contemplative layman, husband, and father. He blogs at http://www.howardhain.com

Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardDHain   http://www.twitter.com/HowardDHain

If you enjoyed this post, please consider “liking” it, adding a comment, or passing it along via the social-media links below. Your support is greatly appreciated. Step by step. All for God’s glory.

Thursday, 1st Week of Lent

Lent 1

Matthew 7,7-12

Does God answer prayers? A question often asked. Some say God–if there is a God-doesn’t pay attention to us at all. We’re on our own. No one’s listening and no one cares.

Certainly, Jesus believed his Father listens and cares. He trusted him and asked him for things and taught us to pray as he did. His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane reveals a trust that’s unfailing. Over and over he asks that his life be spared. “Father, let this cup pass from me.” He knocked and the door opened; the answer came, yet not as he willed, but as His Father willed. “An angel came to strengthen him,” to accept that answer.

His experience is a model for us as we pray for things. Ultimately, God gives good gifts to his children, but according to his will; he knows what we need. He gave his only Son the gift of new life, yet he had to first pass through death.

St. Paul of the Cross recognized the mystery surrounding petitionary prayer. Ultimately our prayer is answered, but often enough in mysterious ways that’s hard to understand. Our faith is tested when we pray for things.

“I thank the Father of Mercies that you are improved in health, and you say well that the Lord seems to be playing games. That’s what Scripture says: “God plays on the earth,” and “My delights are to be with the children of men.” How fortunate is the soul that silently in faith allows the games of love the Sovereign Good plays and abandons itself to his good pleasure, whether in health or sickness, in life or in death!”
(Letter 920)

Lord,
I ask, I seek, I knock.
Let me never tire of prayer.
Hear me
and let it be done
according to your will.

Thy Will Be Done

We forget how rich in wisdom are the words of our prayers. Unfortunately, they become words we say unthinkingly. Listen to the commentary of St. Cyprian on one phrase of  The Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father.

“Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. This is not that God should do what he wills, but so that we may be able to do what God wills. For who could resist God in such a way as to prevent him doing what he wills? But since the devil hinders us from obeying, by thought and by deed, God’s will in all things, we pray and ask that God’s will may be done in us.

For this to happen, we need God’s good will – that is, his help and protection, since no-one is strong in and of himself but is kept safe by the grace and mercy of God.

Moreover, the Lord, showing the weakness of the humanity which he bore, said Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, and showing his disciples an example, that they should do not their own will but God’s, he went on to say nevertheless, let it not be my will, but yours.”

Palm Sunday

The liturgy, following the chronology of John’s gospel, records Jesus’ entering into Jerusalem, the Holy City, city of prophets and kings, site of God’s temple, just before Jesus’ passion and death.

Crowds excited by the news of Lazarus raised from the dead welcomed him. Some were natives of Jerusalem, some pilgrims for the Passover from other parts of the world, some his disciples now convinced of his extraordinary power. Most misunderstood him still.

“God save the Son of David!” they cried, casting coats and palm branches before him as he approached the city gates. They wanted a new David to breathe life into their nation. Wearing David’s mantle he could liberate them this Passover, the feast of Jewish liberation.

John’s gospel records that Jesus rejected the call to be their warrior king. Mounting a young donkey, he rode into Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy of Zephaniah: “Fear not, Daughter of Sion, your king is coming, mounted on a donkey’s colt.”

Not a fearsome warrior, he was the humble king the prophet described. In Jerusalem he would open his arms to the poor outcasts of the world..

“At the time his disciples did not understand this…” John concludes.

And do we yet understand,
Lord Jesus,
as the year go by
and we hear the story again?

Can a poor man on a donkey
dying like a slave
succeed?

We like success so much,
the kind you feel and touch
and put your hands on
right away.

What success
can anyone find
in a Cross?

Or is there success
in faithfulness?
When you can say:
“Your will be done!”
“Father, forgive them.”

Like the two from Emmaus
we hope for easy gain.
Come walk at our side,
and tell us what matters most,
O Lord.