Gospel: Lk 6:12-16
At this time, Jesus went out into the hills to pray, spending the whole night in prayer with God. When day came, he called his disciples to him, and chose Twelve of them, whom he called ‘apostles’: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James son of Alpheus and Simon called the Zealot; Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who would be the traitor.
We are remembering today two apostles, Simon and Jude, about whom we know very little for certain. About Jude we know only four things with certainty: he was an apostle, he was nicknamed Thaddeus, he asked a question to Jesus at the Last Supper (Jn 14:22), and his name is always mentioned before or after that of Simon. About Simon we know only three things with certainty: he was an apostle, he was some kind of religious enthusiast, and his name is always mentioned before or after that of Jude.
Obviously these two men and, in fact, most of the apostles were quite ordinary men. Yet, as today’s first reading tells us, they are the foundations of the Church, which amounts to saying that these men are extremely solid men.
This fact should make us pause because it teaches us a very important thing. You do not have to be a genius or a beauty or a Napoleon or a Bob Hope or an Edison in the eyes of God. You just have to be solid, dependable, trustworthy in your job, which is to spread love around you. Nothing in this will make the headlines of the New York Times. Yet, it is sometimes more heroic than breaking an Olympic record.