Friday, October 28, 2011

THE APOSTLES SIMON AND JUDE

Simon and Jude were among the twelve apostles whom Jesus called to continue his work of salvation. They imitated Jesus by preaching, healing, and sacrificing their lives for the salvation of souls. Simon was known as “the Zealot” to distinguish him from Simon Peter. The Zealots were given the name “stabbers” by the Romans because they carried sharp daggers under their cloaks in order to kill unsuspecting Roman soldiers. They were terrorists. It’s amazing that Jesus called such a man to follow him but his call is for every person. What’s even more amazing is that besides a terrorist Jesus called Matthew, someone who collaborated with the Romans by collecting taxes for them. Simon and Matthew would have been sworn enemies. It’s too bad that Simon and Matthew do not share the same feast, but Matthew the Evangelist has the honor of a feast day all his own.

Not much is known about Jude who is called “Thaddaeus” in two of the Gospels and who tradition has it wrote the New Testament Letter that bears his name. He is known today as the patron saint of impossible or hopeless cases. Certainly, from a human perspective, it would have been impossible for Simon the Zealot and Matthew the tax-collector to live and work together. But Jesus said: “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible” (Matthew 19: 26). The Apostles had firsthand experience of this.

Let us ask Simon and Jude to pray with us today for Pope Benedict’s monthly intentions as we offer the following prayer.

Glorious Saints Simon and Jude Thaddaeus, by those privileges with which you were adorned in your life times, namely, your friendship with our Lord Jesus Christ and your vocation to be apostles, and by that glory which now is yours in heaven as the reward of your apostolic labors and your martyrdoms, obtain for us from the Giver of every good and perfect gift all the graces that we stand in need of. Amen.

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