When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Today we celebrate the feast day of Saints Simon and Jude. They had twin names with two other apostles.
Matthew and Mark call St Simon the “Cananaean” while Luke identifies Simon as a “Zealot.” Perhaps Simon belonged to a political group called the Zealots or most likely he had zeal in his faith. He is the patron saint of saw workers and tanners.
St Jude, known as Judas the son of James, has been mistaken for the traitor. He is now known as St Jude Thaddaeus (for sure not to be mistaken with the traitor). Matthew and Mark refer to him as Thaddaeus; Luke as Judas, son of James; and John as Judas (not Iscariot). He is known as the patron saint of impossible cases. The letter of Jude preaching and warning against false teachers is attributed to St Jude.
Little is known of St Simon and St Jude. God works wonders with average people and from varied social and religious backgrounds. They all lived together and what bound them was Jesus Himself. Both were ordinary men chosen by Jesus to evangelize and spread His Word. They were to teach others of God's love and to make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:18-20) They were chosen after Our Lord prayed all night long. They are the lesser known apostles, yet, Jesus entrusted the authority and continuation of His ministry to them as He entrusts us as well.
St Simon preached the Gospel in Egypt and then joined St Jude in Persia.
St Simon was martyred by being sawed in half. St Jude was clubbed to death.
St Jude asked the question at the Last Supper, " Master, what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered him promising that those who love Him and follow Him will have the Holy Spirit dwell within them, equipping to serve and remember all that Christ taught them.
We are called by God to use our individual gifts and work for His Kingdom. Though at times we work individually we also work together not being strangers or travelling by ourselves but as a community of holy citizens and members of the House of God.
Jesus teaches us how to be, act, respond, live, obey and love. Even in our simplicity and averageness, we are expected by God to work to bring souls to Him. He will not leave us alone. He will be with us for all eternity.
PAPA vision is to see priests on fire for Jesus and His Church, the Body and Bride of Christ. Our mission is the same as the apostles, "Go out and make disciples of all nations, behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age". (Matthew 28: 18, 20)
So we pray that all priests be zealous for souls and not false teachers. And we pray that we, too, will be zealous for souls as Jesus commanded.