A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 2:19-22)
“Built upon the foundation of the apostles.”
Brethren: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ
Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 19:1-2.3-4ab (R. 4a)
R/. Their sound goes forth through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims the work of his hands.
Day unto day conveys the message,
and night unto night imparts the knowledge. R/.
No speech, no word, whose voice goes unheeded;
their sound goes forth through all the earth,
their message to the utmost bounds of the world. R/.
Alleluia. We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as the Lord; the glorious band of apostles sings your praise, O Lord! Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 6:12-19)
“He chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles.”
In these days: Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles; Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The church today celebrates the feast of the two apostles: Simon and Jude. St Paul writing to Ephesians tells us that the structure, that is the church, is built on the foundation of the apostles. We are no more foreigners and outsiders, but are fellow citizens with the saints and the embers of the household of God because of the preaching of the apostles. The preaching and the martyrdom of the apostles gave a sure foundation for the church of which Jesus Christ is the corner stone. They were specially chosen by Jesus after a night of prayer and discernment (gospel). They lived with him, learnt from him and experienced his love. They were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and went out to preach the good news of Christ boldly and bore witness to him. Finally they laid their lives for him in their supreme act of love and sacrifice. Tradition says that Simon and Jude preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia. Jesus called them for no merit of their own, but in his infinite wisdom, and empowered them for his mission. The feast of Apostles Simon and Jude reminds us that we are part of the body of Christ and that we have a duty to bear witness to Christ who is our head and our corner stone, no matter what our state of life be.