Thursday, October 28, 2021
Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
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… Luke 6:12
Simon and Jude were among those very select few who were chosen by Jesus Himself to be His Apostles. Today’s Simon is not the same person as Simon Peter, and today’s Jude is not the same person as Judas Iscariot. Little is known about these two Apostles. Simon is referred to as a zealot in the Gospels, which could have meant he was a member of a more radical sect within Judaism. Jude is popularly known as the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes. Some suggest this is because he was often the last Apostle to be prayed to by the early Christian faithful on account of the fact that he shared a name with Judas Iscariot, and praying to Jude reminded people of that betrayer. If that was the case, then in God’s providence, since Jude became the last Apostle to be prayed to, he also became the last hope for many and, thus, the patron saint for those with truly hopeless causes.
One tradition states that Saints Simon and Jude are linked together in the Roman Canon and also share the same feast day because they were both martyred together on the same day, possibly in Syria, Lebanon, or Persia. However, the true details of their missionary journeys and martyrdom is unclear. The one thing that is certain about these Apostles, however, is that they were Apostles. They were chosen by our Lord and appointed by Him as two of the first bishops of our Church and were given a mandate to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
From our perspective today, being one of those chosen Twelve is an incredible privilege. The effect of their ministry in establishing the first Christian communities has resulted in our worldwide universal Catholic Church. These men most likely did not realize the impact that their faithful service would have upon the world.
As we honor these two Apostles, we are also reminded that each one of us is called to go forth to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We each do so in a way specific to the calling and mission that Christ has entrusted to us. We are each called to make an eternal difference in the lives of those whom we serve. And if we are faithful to our mission, we can be certain that the effects of our apostolic service will be felt in the lives of countless others until the end of the world.
Reflect, today, upon Jesus choosing these two men and appointing them as Apostles. As you do, listen to God’s voice as He also speaks to you. Do not underestimate the importance of accepting the mission that Jesus gives to you. Say “Yes” to Him in imitation of these two Apostles and know that your choice to serve our Lord in this way will not only have a great effect in your life, it will also have an effect in the lives of many others for all eternity.
My glorious Lord, You called these two ordinary men, Simon and Jude, to be Your Apostles. You filled them with Your grace, taught them with Your Word, and sent them forth to preach to the ends of the earth. Please also send me, dear Lord, to whomever You choose. Use me as Your instrument and help me to always remain faithful and zealous, reaching out to those in need, especially to those who lack faith and hope in their lives. Saints Simon and Jude, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.
Scripture Meditations for Ordinary Time
Saint of the Day – Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles
Featured image above: Saint Simon and Saint Thaddeus (Jude) by Ugolino di Nerio, via Wikimedia Commons