SS SIMON AND JUDE, APP. (Feast) Red
Simon is named in the lists of the apostles. He is called the Zealot; a fanatical nationalist. Jude (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot), also called Thaddeus meaning “Courageous”, was the brother of James the Lesser. Saint Jude is often depicted carrying a circular image of Christ, the shroud folded up into a case with a window that shows just the face. It is said that when Jude opened up the image to cure the king, both Jude and the image became radiant with light; hence the traditional flame on Saint Jude’s forehead. According to traditional accounts, Jude was beaten to death with a club, and then beheaded in Persia sometime before the end of the first century. Jude has in recent years become patron saint of lost causes.
First Reading: Eph 2:19-22; Psalm: 19. R. v. 4a; Gospel: Lk 6:12-19
CALLED TO BE CO-MISSIONARIES
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
After praying in the hills, Jesus chose twelve men whom he called “Apostles”. An apostle is someone who is sent out. These twelve ordinary men would become ambassadors of Christ to spread the gospel to the far ends of the earth. Among them is Simon the Zealot and Jude whose feast we celebrate today. According to some ancient Christian writers, Simon and Jude went together as missionaries to Persia and were martyred there. This explains why they are usually celebrated together.
Simon was called the Zealot because of his association with the Jewish independent movement devoted to assassination and violent insurrection prior to his call. Zealots are fanatical nationalists who would not spare the life of any traitor. It was with this passion that Simon carried out his missionary work when he was called to be an apostle of Christ.
Jude, who is also called Thaddeus meaning “Courageous”, was a devoted missionary. He is the disputed author of a short epistle in the New Testament. As an eye witness to the ministry of Jesus Christ, he carried on the faith through his teachings and writings. Both Jude and Simon were faithful to the mission to which they were called. They passed on the faith which they received from their master. It was for this reason that they were called and chosen.
As we celebrate these apostles today, let us remember that it is our religious duty to hold dear and practice the faith that they had handed down to us. We are therefore called to allow the gospel permeate our lives, homes, work places, and those we meet by living out our faith in love and charity. In this way, we also become ambassadors of Christ who are committed to continuing the spread of the gospel to the far ends of the earth.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace to witness to the gospel everywhere and always. Amen.