A faith that does not call by name is only culture

The real problem for many Christians is that they are born into a Christian culture but never gain the perspective of believers.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass, reading of Fr. Rytel-Andrianik’s comments, see here.

There are apostles about whom the Word of God tells us a lot, and others about whom we know very little or almost nothing. Simon and Jude, whom we celebrate today, belong to this second group. The real question, however, is different: What is really important in the life of the apostles? Their deeds and gestures, their events, the works they have produced or above all their vocation?

The call is actually the most interesting thing in their life, because it is what then makes them capable of doing all that they later achieved.

“Jesus went up the mountain to pray, and he spent the night praying to God. When the day came, he called his disciples, and among them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother André, Jacques, Jean, Philippe, Barthélemy, Matthieu, Thomas, Jacques the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

The gift of faith is the gift of being called personally by Jesus. There is nothing more personal than your own name. A faith that does not call us by name is only culture and not salvation.

The real problem for many Christians is that they are born into a Christian culture but never gain the perspective of believers. We only make this transition when we receive the gift of meeting Jesus personally and not vaguely. The strength of the disciples and of each apostle lies in the calling they have received. Every believer is someone who has been called, but very often he is unaware of it. It seems to me a beautiful request to ask these apostles today: that we all become aware of it.

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Diocese of Aquila and teaches philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR “Fides et ratio”, Aquila. He devoted himself to preaching, especially for the formation of lay people and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He is the author of numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has been an ecclesiastical assistant in the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication and a columnist for the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano.

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