SAINT SIMON AND SAINT JUDE, APOSTLES (FEAST)
He chose Twelve.
If you made a movie about the life of Jesus, you know who would have the starring roles. In addition to Jesus, the actors playing Peter, John, and Judas would get top billing. But the actors playing some of the other apostles, including Simon and Jude, would probably be in the rolling credits at the end.
We don’t know much about these two apostles; they have no major part to play in any of the Gospels. We do know that Simon was a Zealot, a member of a political party seeking to overthrow the Romans, so perhaps he was something of a revolutionary. Although one New Testament letter bears his name, we know even less about Jude; he’s a popular saint today because he’s the patron of impossible causes.
Yet after spending a night in prayer, Jesus deliberately chose these two men to be part of the Twelve. Something about them must have stood out to him. Maybe it was their loyalty to him, or their grasp of his teaching, or the way they took care of the other disciples. Whatever the reason, Jesus clearly had confidence in them. And that confidence was well-grounded: both men would one day be martyred for preaching the gospel.
Most of us don’t have “starring” roles in life. Yet God has deliberately chosen us to be his disciples and to follow him. Like Simon and Jude, each of us has been “sent out” in one way or another to share the good news. Each of us has also been given a vocation—to marriage and family, the single or religious life, or the priesthood. And we may be called in other specific ways to serve God and his people.
So if you serve quietly and without much notice, know that your role in God’s kingdom is still important to him. Some days you may feel unappreciated or overlooked. Some days you may even feel like you are failing. But that’s not how God feels. He has chosen you for a reason, and he is confident that, drawing on his grace, you will be able to accomplish all that he has called you to do.
“Lord, help me to fulfill the calling you have given me.”