Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles

– 30th Week in Ordinary Time –
 Wednesday 28th October

He called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named apostles. [Luke 6:13]

From a larger group of disciples, Jesus chooses twelve to be his ‘crack squad’ of missionaries, charged with proclaiming the arrival of the Kingdom of God. Even within this team, Peter, James and John hold a special place and are often singled out to be with Jesus in special moments such as the Transfiguration and the Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

We are continually participating in various size teams such as family, friendship, recreational and workplace groups. Within each of these groups, we function differently and have changing roles. Within the family we can change from child to peer to parent roles. In other groups, we might be a leader, while in other settings, we could be the novice or the sage or the invisible member. Team roles change over time and reflect differing gifts, needs and capabilities.  

While little is known of these two team players, Simon and Jude played an important role in being eyewitnesses of Jesus’ miracles and his death and Resurrection and leading many to come to belief in Jesus. Tradition suggests that both Simon and Jude died for their faith in Syria giving the ultimate witness to Jesus. They are remembered today for being faithful disciples.

In a world where all the focus sits with the leader, the champion, the CEO, it can seem that the vital role of the team member is lost, yet the success of the team, the group and the mission depends on the commitment, consistency and industry of each member. Like Simon and Jude, each of us needs to play our part, often hidden and unrecognised, in bringing the presence of Christ alive in our families, workplaces and society. And as Pope Francis reminds us in ‘Rejoice and Be Glad’, his Apostolic Exhortation on Holiness, that ‘we will only find out about those souls to whom we owe the decisive turning points in our personal lives on the day when all that is hidden is revealed.’ (n.8)

May we be saints next door by being God’s loving presence in our world.

By Mike Humphrys

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