– Feast of Saints Simon and Jude –
Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’: Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:12-16)
There is so much we don’t know about the call of the apostles. I wonder how Jesus felt about each of the twelve he summoned. I wonder how they came to meet Jesus, what attracted him to them, and what they were really like. We catch glimpses of some of them in each of the gospels. These glimpses sometimes reveal their faith and desire for the kingdom, often it reveals they were a motley crew, but it’s never the full picture.
What we do know is that Jesus called them after a night in prayer, in communion with the one he called ‘Abba.’ We also know that it was no accident that Jesus chose twelve. They represented the twelve tribes of Israel: they were to be the core group of God’s renewed Israel.
We are part of a building that has been “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). And, like the apostles, we too have been chosen by Jesus and called by name. God constantly calls us to the conversion of heart that leads to the transformation of ourselves, of the Church, of society and indeed the entire creation. We might look around and see the motley crew that Jesus has called in our day, and yet we have been chosen.
As we celebrate with gratitude this feast of the apostles Saints Simon and Jude, take a moment to be with Jesus praying in the hills. Let him assure you that you’re called by name and precious in the sight of God. And listen to him sending you out to proclaim the kingdom; the kingdom of mercy, justice and peace.
By Kari Hatherell