The WORD in Other Words by Fr Xene Sanchez SVD (Congo, Africa) for the Feast of Sts Jude and Simon
We celebrate today the feast of Saints Simon and Jude, the 10th and 11thapostles chosen by Jesus.
To form the Twelve, Jesus went up the mountain to pray. We recall Moses who did the same, to meet God before concluding the covenant with the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus’s dialogue with the Father lasted from night till day.
This was a very important moment in his ministry. The choice of the right persons could determine the success or failure of his mission.
However his line-up of apostles is difficult to appraise. Seven of them like Peter were probably fishermen. Matthew was a tax-collector, a public servant of the Romans. Simon belonged to the zealots who wanted to drive the Roman colonizers away through violent revolution. Jude could be a farmer.
Binding the apostles as one community, considering their different personalities, age and backgrounds, was not easy. This was possible only through a change of heart for a common goal, the Kingdom of God. That was the core of Jesus’ preaching. His life and his words were progressively transforming his disciples until they became “other Christs.” They were called by Jesus to be “with him” (as witnesses) and “to be sent” (as apostles).
According to tradition, Simon and Jude went together to Persia, the modern-day Iran. There they died as martyrs. Jude is popularly considered as Patron of desperate situations and lost causes. Their lives are teaching us profound lessons. It is not necessary to be on the top list to do so much good to others. To become “another Christ” means to undergo a series of conversion and detachment from our old self. For that Jesus is capable of choosing no matter who, like you and me. –
Fr. Xene Sanchez, SVD (Kinshasa-Limete)