Ordinary Time Week 14: Wednesday

“The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.” (Matthew 10:2-4)

Saint Jerome offers the following insight on these verses from today’s Gospel:

“The order in which the apostles were divided and the distinction of each one were given by him who plumbs the depths of the heart. The first to be recorded is Simon called Peter (to distinguish him from the other Simon, who is called the Cananaean from the village of Cana in Galilee, where the Lord turned the water into wine). He also calls James the son of Zebedee because he is followed by another James, the son of Alphaeus. And he associates the apostles by pairs. He joins Peter and Andrew as brothers not so much in the flesh as in the spirit; James and John, who left behind their natural father and followed the true Father; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican. The other Evangelists, in listing the names, put Matthew first and then Thomas; nor do they mention the name publican, lest in recalling his former way of life they seem to insult the Evangelist. But Matthew, as we said before, places himself after Thomas and calls himself a publican so that “where sin abounded, grace has abounded even more.”

Simon the Cananaean is the one whom another Evangelist calls the Zealot. In fact, Cana interpreted means “zeal.” Church history relates that the apostle Thaddaeus was sent to Edessa, Abgarum in the region of Osroene. The person whom Luke the Evangelist calls Jude the brother of James, elsewhere called Lebbaeus, which interpreted means “little heart,” is believed to have been referred to by three names. Simon Peter and the sons of Zebedee (called sons of thunder) were named for their strength of mind and great faith. Judas Iscariot took his name either from his hometown or from the tribe of Issachar. By a certain prophecy he was born in condemnation of himself, for Issachar interpreted means “reward,” as to signify the price of the traitor.” (Commentary on Matthew, 1)

Ordinary Time Collect
O God, Who in the abasement of your Son
have raised up a fallen world,
fill Your faithful with holy joy,
for on those You have rescued from slavery to sin
You bestow eternal gladness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen