“You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
Baptism is such a powerful sacrament; it takes me away from my natural family, my tribal affiliation and re-births me into a new family; the family of God; the family where I can confidently refer to Jesus as my elder brother.
It will be completely unfair, unjust and insensitive on my part to treat a fellow Christian like a stranger all because he or she does not speak my language or is not related to me by blood. When tribalism affects the selection of persons for certain positions in the House of God, it really calls to question the extent of our conversion to the Christian Faith.
To be a Christian is to be born again; it is dying to something old and taking up a new identity and this new identity entails that we see ourselves as St. Paul describes; fellow citizens with the saints in heaven, pillars of God’s house where the Apostles and Prophets are part of the foundation.
As a Christian, you are not just anybody, you are part of a long history of men and women who have walked closely with God. You are not simply a number, you are a person of value. As God used the Apostles to accomplish great things, God wants to use you in a way that you will be remembered in years to come.
Our Gospel passage today tells us how Jesus spent a whole night in prayer before choosing the Twelve Apostles. This action of Jesus teaches us the importance of prayer especially before taking major decisions in life. Don’t just guess, ask God to reveal things to you while you pray, quieten your hearts and you will hear Him speak.
Today, we celebrate two of these twelve apostles chosen by Jesus after a whole night of prayer; Saints Simon and Jude. We remember them not because of the language they spoke or the tribe they belonged to, but their contribution to the spread of Christianity.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, use me as your instrument just like the Apostles. Amen.
Bible Study: Ephesians 2:19-22, Psalm 19 and Luke 6:12-16).