SAINT SIMON AND SAINT JUDE, APOSTLES (FEAST)
He chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles.
In 2012, a group of historians in Washington, DC, wanted to honor Abraham Lincoln for President’s Day by building a tower of books written about the famous American president. When completed, the tower, displayed in the lobby of Ford’s Theatre, was eight feet wide and three stories high—and still, it contained less than half of the books written about Lincoln.
Impressive as that may be, there is one person who has been the subject of more books than Lincoln: Jesus. But why do we even know anything about Jesus? It’s because of his apostles, whose testimonies formed the basis of the four Gospels.
Considering Jesus’ importance, you’d think we would know a lot about his apostles. But in fact, we know very little. Take, for example, Sts. Simon and Jude, the apostles whose feast we celebrate today. If we wrote down everything we knew about them, we could maybe fill a chapter—not even close to a tower of books!
And yet, think about the effect that these two men had. Tradition holds that they traveled to Persia to spread the gospel. There, they told people about Jesus, and those people told others, who told others, and so on. The seeds they planted took root, grew, and spread throughout the region, long after they were martyred. Together with the other apostles, Simon and Jude took the message of the gospel far and wide. In fact, each of us can trace our faith, like a family tree, back to one or more of the apostles.
Today, let’s give thanks for these apostles, as well as for the “apostles” in our own lives. Maybe your “apostles” were your parents who took you to church. Maybe they included a coworker who prayed with you or a friend who encouraged you to return to the faith. They could be the pope or your pastor or the author of a book that helped you grow closer to Jesus. Some of these people may be remembered by history, but most won’t. And that’s okay. They—and you—are all important in God’s plan for building his kingdom.
“Thank you, Lord, for the people who have guided me to you!”