Consider for a moment all the holy men and women whom we call saints, and then consider the truth that we are no less valuable to God. Together with the saints in heaven, we are full members of God’s household. This is something for us to think about today as we celebrate the feast of two of Our Lord’s apostles: Saint Simon and Saint Jude.
We don’t know very much about these two men. In scripture their names are often listed side by side (Luke 6:15-16; Acts 1:13). Simon is called the Zealot, and in older traditions, he was sometimes given the humble title of Simon the Less, to distinguish him from Simon Peter. Jude is venerated as the patron saint of hopeless cases. This may stem from the fact that people were hesitant to ask for help from someone with a name so similar to that of Judas Iscariot and did so only as a last resort.
So what are we to make of these two little known saints? Saint Luke tells us that Our Lord spent “all night in prayer to God” before he chose them as apostles. Just as Our Lord hand-picked Simon and Jude for a specific purpose, so has he hand-picked us. He was just as careful in calling us as he was in choosing Simon, Jude, Dominic, Francis and all the great saints. We are, after all, fellow citizens with all of them, both those recognized by the Church and the millions of anonymous saints whose life and witness is known only to God.
God loves us as much as he loves any of his saints. He doesn’t call everyone to become an apostle, but he does call everyone to become, as Saint Paul says: “a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22). And so let us ask the Holy Spirit to fill us and use us as powerfully as he did Saint Simon and Saint Jude.