Today we celebrate the two apostles Simon and Jude. Simon is eleventh in the list of the twelve Apostles. He is known as Simon the Zealot, but nothing else is known about him. Jude, also called Thaddaeus, is the apostle who at the Last Supper asked the Lord why he showed himself only to the disciples and not to the world. For many centuries he was scarcely venerated because people confused him with Judas Iscariot. He is the patron saint of lost and desperate causes.
In today’s gospel we see Jesus’ concern for the needs of his people: He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured, and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.
Recently Pope Francis was speaking about the importance of the corporal works of mercy. To borrow from the National Catholic Register website: When we perform the corporal works of mercy — specifically, welcoming the stranger in the form migrants and refugees — we are welcoming Christ in them and helping to restore their full dignity as humans, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
“These works, in fact, make evident that Christians are not tired and lazy in waiting for the final encounter with the Lord, but every day go out, recognizing his face in the many people asking for help.”
Continuing his reflection on the corporal works of mercy, the Pope’s catechesis during his Oct. 26 general audience centered on Matthew 25:35-36: “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me; naked, and you clothed me.”
The works of mercy related to strangers are “timelier than ever,” he said, adding that “the economic crisis, armed conflict and climate change drive many people to emigrate.”
Also, those who “do not have a job, a house, a just wage,” or those who are discriminated against because of their race or faith, “are all forms of ‘nudity,’ before which we as Christians are called to be attentive, vigilant and ready to act.”
“Dear brothers and sisters,” he urged, “do not fall into the trap of closing in on ourselves, indifferent to the needs of brothers and worried only about our own interests.” All together, we can be a “great strength of support for those who have lost home, family, work and dignity,” he said.
“And to clothe the naked, what is it but to restore dignity to those who have lost it. It is precisely to the extent that we open ourselves to others that life becomes fruitful, society regains peace and people recover their full dignity.”