“So, then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
Today, we celebrate the Feast of two great apostles, Saints Simon and Jude. Writing in the Ephesians, St. Paul describes Christians as citizens with the saints in the household of God with the apostles and prophets as its foundation. We are not strangers or sojourners but stakeholders in this special building that is held together by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
In celebrating Saints Simon and Jude, we remind ourselves that, as Christians, we have a history. We are part of a people specially called by God to walk in the light – to be living examples of good conduct to the world. Saints Simon and Jude are foundation members of this special assembly. They remain for us role models as well as intercessors.
St. Simon is also known as Simon the Zealot. The Zealots were a Jewish sect that represented extreme Jewish nationalism. They were committed to the realisation of the freedom of the Jews from Roman authorities. The Zealots are the spiritual heirs of the Maccabees. Jesus gave the name ‘Simon’ to Peter when He made him the head of the apostles in Caesarea Philippi.
Not much is known about St. Jude except that his name is mentioned in the list of the twelve apostles. Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. St. Jude Thaddeus is the patron of impossible cases. Have you ever experienced a very difficult situation, and you want God’s intervention? Ask St. Jude, and be sure to find answers.
In today’s Gospel passage, Luke narrates how Jesus spent an entire night in prayer before selecting the twelve apostles. This teaches us the importance of prayer as a consultation with God before making any major decision. Prayer is the master key. Jesus started with prayer and ended with prayer. A Christian who does not spend time in prayer will hardly hear from God. Prayer is consultation; we talk to God and listen to Him.
Saints Simon and Jude were not randomly selected; it was not by chance that they became apostles. God chose them for a reason. In Jeremiah, we read: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Even though we are chosen according to God’s plan, we have a choice whether to cooperate with God or be like Judas Iscariot. We celebrate Simon and Jude today not just because they were chosen but because they played their parts towards the growth of the Christian faith.
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, help me to fulfil your plans for my life. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Ephesians 2:19-22, Ps. 19:2-5, Luke 6:12-16).
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu