ALL POSTS TAGGED: ISRAEL



John is sometimes called “the beloved disciple” or “John the Evangelist.” He was the only one of Jesus’ apostles who did not leave him during his crucifixion and death. In the gospel Jesus even asks John to take care of Mary, the Blessed Mother, after his death.


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Andrew was a fisherman. But he was searching for something more important than life on the sea could give him. Like many faithful Jews of his time, Andrew was waiting for God to send the Savior he had promised.


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TAGS: Apostle, Israel, Saint

Both Simon and Jude were ordinary men who were chosen by Jesus himself to teach others about God’s love and to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Their lives help us to understand that even the most average people can become saints when they decide to follow Jesus.


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Matthew, the Evangelist who wrote the Gospel that appears first in the New Testament, was different from the other Apostles. He was not a popular man. Many people felt that he was unworthy to be a chosen as a follower of Jesus. Matthew worked for the Romans as a tax collector. The Romans ruled Palestine and the Jewish people in the time of Jesus. They forced the Jewish people to pay taxes to them. Many of the tax collectors cheated the people by charging more taxes than required and keeping the extra money for themselves. The Jews considered tax collectors to be traitors.


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Do you have a good friend who truly knows and loves you? Bartholomew, one of Jesus’ Twelve apostles, discovered that Jesus knew him even before they had met for the first time.

The apostle Philip brought Bartholomew, who is also called Nathanael in the Gospels, to Jesus, telling him that Jesus was the person the prophets spoke about, the promised one of God. The moment Jesus saw Nathanael, he praised him, saying that he could see that there was no dishonesty in his heart. Nathanael immediately began to believe in Jesus. Jesus told Bartholomew that he would see great things because of his faith.


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Joachim and Anne were the parents of Jesus’ mother, Mary. We don’t know many details about their lives because they are never mentioned in the New Testament. Everything we know about them comes down through tradition—the stories people told about them.


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TAGS: Apostle, Israel, Saint

James; his brother John, the Evangelist; and Peter were special favorites of the Lord. They had the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration, when Jesus’ robe and face shined as bright as the sun and the voice of God spoke from the heavens, announcing that Jesus was his only Son. The three apostles were terrified and fell to the ground.


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Mary was not a quitter. The other disciples ran away afraid, but Mary stayed with some other women at the foot of the cross until Jesus died. She would not leave her friend in the terrible last moments of his earthly life. Sunset was fast approaching, which meant that the Sabbath was about to begin. The rules of her religion said she had to be inside before dark, but she followed Jesus’ body to the tomb. At the first light of dawn after the Sabbath, she rushed to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body, because there had been no time when he was buried. Mary hurried back to the Apostles to tell them that she had seen the Risen Christ.


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We hear the story of Veronica when we pray the Stations of the Cross. At the Sixth Station, Jesus stopped to allow Veronica to wipe the blood, sweat, and dirt from his face. This simple act of kindness is all we know about Veronica, a woman in Jerusalem. She is not mentioned in the Gospels, but Jesus’ followers must have shared the story of her loving care for the Lord so often that it has become part of our tradition.


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Can you imagine an apostle, the closest followers of Christ, having doubts about Jesus? St. Thomas did, and his disbelief helps us to understand how important the gift of faith is.


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