“On the foundation stones of the heavenly Jerusalem are written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; and the Lamb himself is the lamp of the city.” (the antiphon for the Benedictus assigned for the day)
Of Simon and Jude, two of the twelve, little is known. They tend to be linked because tradition places them as apostles to Persia, modern day Iran. Yet the antiphon above names them along with the other apostles as foundation stones of the heavenly Jerusalem.
In Scripture we have glimpses of the conversations that took place among the original disciples. They include words of excitement, hope, disappointment, disagreement and even bickering. Sometimes they are clueless and other times great words of faith shine forth. Very human power struggles cause conflict and division. In the midst of it all, however, comes a vast reservoir of faithfulness of which you and I are the inheritors. Foundation stones indeed.
Such grace, more often than not, comes to us from the little known saints whose paths we cross. They are also a part of our foundation. I am a person of faith in Christ Jesus today because of the original twelve, because of Simon’s and Jude’s “ardent devotion.” I am also a person of faith because of a third grade Sunday School teacher who with a twinkle in his eye taught me the awesomeness of God; an eleventh grade trigonometry/analytic geometry teacher who invited me to see the complexity of God and to trust my own giftedness; an elderly parishioner who helped me to revel in and enjoy the beauty of God as she danced her prayer. The list goes on.
Who are these little known folks in your life? Who are the ones who have passed on the great repository of faith to you? Give thanks for them this day even as we bless God for the gifts of Simon and Jude.