We grow in faith through the liturgy. I thought of that as we celebrated the Feast of Simon and Jude this morning. They are apostles and the readings for the feast, especially the Letter to the Ephesians and our responsorial psalm, Psalm 19, tell us we are “being built on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord…” (Ephesians 2: 19-22)
“Their message goes out through all the earth,” our responsorial psalm says. (Psalm. 19)
We belong to a church described as a building, not a complete building, but one “being built.” The foundation is the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone, holding everything together and ensuring it grows to the “sacred temple of the Lord.”
That picture of the church is brought before us every month with a feast of an apostle. It’s the picture of a church that looks back and looks forward. It’s a growing church meant to embrace people from every nation, time and place. It’s a church bound for glory. We are called to be that kind of church.
The apostles bring their message through all the earth. They do not just report their memories of Jesus; they bring their message to others, to the ends of the earth. The accounts of their missionary journeys may not all be historically true, but their conviction of a universal mission is certainly true.
The apostles call us to this same mission; we share this building of faith with them and we’re called to make it a universal building, open to all.
“We have inherited heaven along with the apostles,” our morning prayer said. “On the foundations stones of the heavenly Jerusalem, the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are written,” we read in morning prayer. Our names are there too.
Jesus prayed all night for the apostles and his love called them, Luke’s gospel read today proclaimed. He prays and calls us too. (Luke 6: 12-16)