Tag Archives: simon and Jude

Saints Simon and Jude

Simon Rubens

St. Jude LaTourSaints Simon and Jude, whose feast we celebrate October 28, are mentioned only a few times in the New Testament list of apostles,  tenth and eleventh respectively. (Mark 3,13-19, Luke 6,12-16)

Simon is called  `the Zealot,’ either because he was zealous for the Jewish law or because he was a member of the Zealot party, which in the time of Jesus sought to overthrow Roman domination by force.

Some of Jesus’ followers,  the Gospels indicate, were hardly pacifists. Peter was ready to use his sword in the garden of Gethsemani when the temple guards came to seize Jesus, and James and John told Jesus to call down fire from heaven on the hostile Samaritans whom they met on their journey to Jerusalem.

Simon, therefore, may thought of revolution when he answered Jesus’ call .

Jude, called `Thaddeus’ to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot, may be the brother of James, the son of Alphaeus, some interpreters of the Gospel say. If that’s so, he’s also a relative of Jesus. He may be the author of the Epistle of Jude in the New Testament.

Early Christian traditions – all difficult to prove historically – locate the ministry of these apostles in places as far apart as Britain and Persia; one important legend from 3rd century Syria says they were apostles to Syria. If so, we ask their intercession for that troubled place today.

Knowing little  about  Simon and Jude may be a good thing, because then we have to look to their mission to know them –they were apostles.

The mission of the apostles was to follow Jesus. “ ‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ Jesus says in the Gospel of John. He also said “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.”

God made his will known to the apostles  in due time. They didn’t decide what to do and where to go by themselves. They knew God’s will day by day, as we do.  So often, it was unexpected, and perhaps not what they planned.

“Your will be done,” we say in the Lord’s Prayer. That’s an apostle’s prayer. We try to make it our prayer too.

Being Apostles

It may be a good thing that we know so little about the apostles of Jesus. The gospels say very little about them, who they were or where they went or what they did. On the other hand, knowing little about them makes us reflect more on their mission–they were apostles.

We certainly don’t know much about Simon and Jude, whose feast we celebrate today. Cyril of Alexandria, in today’s Office of Readings, speaks about the mission of the apostle which we share in, as members of an apostolic church.

The apostle follows Jesus. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Jesus says in the Gospel of John. “Once he said: I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance,” Cyril says. “And then at another time he said: I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. For God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

Like the apostles, we are not just created to exist here on earth, we are sent. We have a mission. We are not just to take from this world, we are to give. Jesus told his apostles ” to heal those who were sick whether in body or spirit, to seek in all their dealings never to do their own will but the will of him who sent them, and as far as possible to save the world by their teaching.”

That’s what he tells us to do too, as his followers.