The Feast of Saints Simon and Jude

Today (October 28th) we celebrate the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude.  In the gospel reading for this morning’s Mass, we hear both Saint Simon and Saint Jude named among the twelve that Jesus had chosen to be Apostles.

Simon is identified as a zealot.  In those days, there was a particular group of Jews known as zealots who opposed the Roman occupation but if we look at the meaning of the word “zealot,” it refers to one with a great enthusiasm for their faith and they desire others to share their enthusiasm.  Isn’t this a great quality in an Apostle?  (Actually, it’s a good quality in all of us.)  We don’t want them to be fanatics but we want them to have a strong desire to go out and share the gospel.  Simon himself is thought to have preached in Egypt and Persia after Jesus’ death, Resurrection, and Ascension.  St. Jude is thought to have preached in Palestine and Persia.

St. Jude is listed as the first Judas in today’s gospel.  He is known as the patron saint of hopeless causes.  Spreading the gospel today might seem like a hopeless cause.  St. Jude and the other Apostles might have felt like they faced a hopeless cause when they gathered in the locked room (John 20:19-29) after Jesus’ death.  Their messiah had been killed through the actions of the chief priests and the Romans.  They might have felt hopeless.  In their grief, Jesus appeared to them risen giving them new hope.

In the locked room they might have felt the situation seemed impossible but nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37, cf. Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, Luke 18:27).


Fr. Jeff

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