Today is the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude. They were apostles of whom we know almost nothing. The early church, rather then seeing the twelve apostles as individually models for us to follow, gave importance only to the fact that there were twelve of them. Christianity, in its being founded on twelve apostles, was therefore put on a level with the Israelites, who were founded on the twelve sons of Jacob.
The Zealots, with whom Simon was identified, were Jewish patriots who campaigned for freedom from Roman rule. Thirty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Zealots turned vicious, operating as bands who waylaid Roman patrols, dispatching them with short daggers. Simon, though, is identified as a different kind of zealot. He was merely a lively young man.
St. Jude left us a Letter that we can pretty well do without. It is a warning against so-called Christians who disrupt our gatherings. Jude described them as “complainers, disgruntled ones who live by their desires; whose mouths utter bombasts as they fawn over people to gain advantages. “