Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. (Matthew 10:1-4 NRSV)
At least three of our member churches today commemorate Simon and Jude, two of the lesser-known apostles from among the Twelve that Jesus called. Jude is sometimes also identified as Thaddaeus, but is not to be confused with Judas Iscariot.
Professor Darrel Guder says that we should look at the notes of the Church backwards. That is, not as “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” but rather as “apostolic, catholic, holy and one.” If we start with the calling that Jesus makes on each of us to be apostles (prayer and proclaiming, healing and service) then it’s far easier to find our unity as churches.
Here’s a sampling of liturgical prayers for today:
Evangelical Lutheran Worship
O God, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude. We pray that, as they were faithful and zealous in your mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Episcopal Church Book of Common Prayer
O God, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and
that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Roman Catholic Missal
O God, who by the blessed Apostles have brought us to acknowledge your name, graciously grant, through the intercession of Saints Simon and Jude, that the Church may constantly grow by increase of the peoples who believe in you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.