Like the other apostles, St. Jude learned to struggle for justice and peace by accompanying Jesus and listening to his teaching. He heard the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus taught, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God....Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers. Be happy and glad, for a great reward awaits you in heaven." (Mt 5: 9, 11-12)
St. Jude wrote in his letter, "I encourage you to fight on for the faith which once and for all God has given to people." (Jude 1:3) St. Jude struggled for all that Jesus worked to establish. As did Jesus, he preached the Good News to the poor, proclaimed liberty to captives, restored sight to the blind, and set free the oppressed. (Lk 4: 18)
We sometimes resist the Lord's challenge to work for God's reign of justice and peace. We fear criticism and conflict; we seek comfort and convenience. Not St. Jude! He fought non-violently for peace through reconcilation and compassion, and understood that without justice there is no true peace.
For his commitment to the reign of justice and peace, St. Jude suffered, just as Jesus had predicted, "You will be hated on account of my name." (Mt 10:22) Nevertheless, he enjoyed the peace promised by the Lord at the Last Supper when he said: "Peace I give to you, my own peace I leave you; a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you." (Jn 14:27)
St. Jude, you courageously preached the Word of God in the most difficult situations. Like Jesus, you defended the poor and oppressed and challenged the rich and powerful. When threatened with death, you did not resort to violence or despair but recalled Jesus' words of peace and forgiveness. Hear our prayer, today, for peace and justice in our world. Ask the Lord to give us the courage to stand up for what is right. Pray that we be effective peacemakers like you, especially in the world where there is war and oppression, in our communities where there is violence and strife, and in our families where there is conflict and tension. Amen.
I promise to act against some injustice and take some action that will restore peace somewhere in the world.
~Recite the St. Jude Thaddeus Prayer~