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Tuesday 21 May |
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A faith that doesn’t call by name is only culture


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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 10/28/22

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

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

There are some apostles about whom the Word of God tells us a great deal, 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’s really important in the lives of the apostles? Their deeds, their events, the works they performed, or above all their calling?

The call is actually the most interesting thing in their lives, because that is what then makes them able to do all that they later accomplished.

“Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.  When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” 

The gift of faith is the gift of being called personally by Jesus. There’s nothing more personal than one’s 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 acquire 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 every apostle is in the call they have received. Every believer is someone who has been called, but very often is not aware of it. It seems to me a beautiful petition to ask of these apostles today: that we may all become aware of this.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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