REFLECTION FOR TODAY
October 28, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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… Lk. 6:12
Jesus made the choice of choosing twelve men from the group of his disciples. He made this choice after spending the night in prayer with God. By this choice, Jesus is inviting us to an intimate friendship with him.
Today we celebrate the feast of Simon and Jude. How privilege they must have felt to be chosen as Apostles. Little is known about Simon and Jude, but we can imagine their sense of anticipation of what it would mean to be so intimately associated with Jesus.
Today’s Simon is not the same person as Simon Peter, and today’s Jude is not the same person as Judas Iscariot. 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 or impossible cases. Some suggest this is because he was often the last Apostle to be prayed to by the early Christian faithful because of 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.
As Apostles, chosen by our Lord, Simon and Jude were appointed by Jesus as two of the first bishops of our Church and were given a mandate to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth. 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.
Like Simon and Jude, we have been called and chosen be Jesus. Some Christians today feel reluctant in responding to the call of Jesus because they are aware of their limitations. Jesus is not asking for heroes today, any more than He chose heroes to begin. Some of those chosen were ordinary fishermen.
As we honor Simon and Jude today, we are 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.
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.