Feast of Saints Simon and Jude
In Luke’s gospel today, we hear how Jesus went up to the mountain to pray. Taking time for quiet and meditative prayer can help us regroup and come away refreshed for the task at hand. I was privileged to have the opportunity over the past year to participate in two nature retreats at Living Waters Retreat Center, Maggie Valley, NC I spend one week in the Fall and another in the Summer in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Each day we took time to hike the trails, sit by mountain streams, observe wild life near and far and in the evenings enjoy the warmth of a campfire, watch the sunset go down as the moon and stars brought forth a dazzling carpet of brilliant light and quiet solitude. TO BE one with God’s creation in nature is an awesome experience. I experienced prayer in many different ways, all of them nourishing.
Jesus often spent time in prayer before making tough decisions or entering into difficult and challenging situations. In this case, it was choosing the apostles who would carry on the Good News of the kingdom. This was a daunting task requiring wisdom and courage. Two of these apostles, Saints Simon and Jude, we celebrate with today. Simon and Jude traveled throughout North Africa and the Middle East spreading the message of salvation. Undoubtedly they spent a good time in prayer and reflection asking for courage and strength for the journey.
It is an honor as well as a challenge to be a follower of Jesus Christ. We encounter many joys and sorrows along the way. The past will be less troublesome if we remember to follow the model laid out for us by Jesus and Saint Simon and Jude. May we be attentive to the Spirit of God found in the stillness of our mountain top moments.
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.