Like the other apostles, St. Jude suffered a martyr's death because he was committed to carry out the mission of our Lord. He accepted Jesus challenge, "If any want to follow me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me." (Lk 9:23)
In the midst of his difficulties St. Jude trusted the Lord, who said, "Come to me all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden light." (Mt 11:28-30)
St. Jude undoubtedly understood that his sufferings were joined to those of Jesus and therefore were also redemptive. St. Paul declared, "I am happy to suffer for you, for by means of my sufferings, I help complete what still remains of Christ's sufferings on behalf of his body, the church." (Col 1:24)
St. Jude was human. He felt pain as we do. But he remembered the suffering of Jesus, his sense of abandonment on the cross, when he cried out "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" (Mt 27:46) These memories helped St. Jude endure his pain because he knew he suffered in union with the Lord.
In our sufferings we reflect on those of our Savior, Jesus. He was spit upon, beaten, and nailed to the cross where he hung in agony for three hours. Perhaps the most painful suffering that pierced his heart was the rejection by the people's leaders and the abandonment by his friends. Nevertheless, Jesus was faithful until the end when he cried out, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." (Lk 23:46)
St. Jude, you remained faithful to our Lord, even unto death. You gave your life so that others might live. You endured physical pain and emotional abandonment. But you gladly joined your sufferings to those of our Savior, Jesus, and thus shared in the redemption of the world. We ask you now to intercede with our brother, Jesus Christ, so that we too might be faithful in the face of our suffering. Help us to trust in God and put our life in his hands. Amen.
I will join all my sufferings to those of Jesus for the redemption of the world, and I will encourage someone who is suffering.
~Recite the St. Jude Thaddeus Prayer~