The Gospel Today
Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Reflection (Sem. Primitivo Eublera, Jr.):
I can still vividly recall that day I left my work to become a full-time lay missionary. It was on October 3, 2003 when I resigned from my work in the bank. When I confided to my mother my intention of leaving my work, in an apparent surprise she immediately asked me, “Mo-resign ka sa imong trabaho, nangita baya ang uban?” In English, “Are you resigning from your work, others are looking for jobs?” Being in the lay mission then, I learned a lot about the Church, founded by Christ through the Apostles. It was such an experience I would treasure the whole of my life. The group’s devotion to the Blessed Mother nourished my initial admiration for this great Mother of God! It was in my family that I learned to pray the Rosary for we prayed this beautiful devotion as a family, everyday starting then when I was a kid.
In our Gospel for today Jesus chose the twelve apostles. Today also, is the feast day of the two of them, Saints Simon and Jude. Saint Simon was also called Simon the Cananaean or Simon the Zealot or Simon the Less as to distinguish him from Simon Peter. He was the one, together with St. Jude, who engaged in missions to Egypt and Persia, where they were martyred together on the same day. St. Jude on the other hand, was best known as patron for hopeless cases as well as of hospitals. Sometimes he is thought of having a double name, Jude Thaddeus, because Thaddeus replaces Jude in the apostolic lists in the gospels of Sts. Mark and Matthew. The other apostles were Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus and Judas Iscariot who betrayed our Lord.
I do not want to call it coincidence, the seminary I am now is called Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, a seminary for “late” vocations. It is only called “late” because we responded “late” in our calling, for we entered the seminary as professionals already. In fact, the Apostles too were called late in following Jesus.
And what about the message in today’s Gospel? Are we also willing to respond to Jesus’ call to us to really follow Him? Be it in different vocations like married life, single blessedness or religious and consecrated life? Are we trying to live out what Jesus told us to be perfect as His Heavenly Father is perfect.
Holy Apostles, pray for us! Sts. Simon and Jude, pray for us!