Loving Jesus in order to follow Him closely.

 Simon and Judas Thaddeus, like the rest of the Apostles, had the immense good fortune to learn from the Master's lips the doctrine that they later taught. They shared with Him joys and sorrows. How we envy them! They learned many things in the intimacy of their conversation and then transmitted them to others: What I have whispered in your ears, preach above the rooftops. No miracle would pass unnoticed, no tear and no smile would be unimportant. They are the witnesses, the transmitters. The Twelve considered this intimate union with the Master so essential that when they had to complete the number, after the defection of Judas, they put only one indispensable condition: It is necessary, therefore, that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus lived with us, starting from the baptism of John until the day he departed from among us, one of them be constituted with us as a witness of his Resurrection.

These men were with Jesus in the fatigues of the apostolate, in the rest when He taught them with a slow voice the mysteries of the Kingdom, in the exhausting walks under the sun.... They shared with Him the joys when the people responded to his preaching, and the sorrows when they saw the lack of generosity of others to follow the Master. "With what intimacy they confided themselves to Him, as to a father, as to a friend, almost as to their own soul! They knew Him by His noble bearing, by the warm tone of His voice, by His manner of breaking bread. They felt flooded with light and trembled with joy, when His deep eyes rested upon them and His voice vibrated in their ears. They reddened, when He rebuked them for their poverty of spirit, and when He corrected them, they humbled their weather-beaten faces like children caught in a fault.... They were deeply impressed, when he spoke to them again and again of his Passion. They loved their Master, and they followed him not only because they wanted to learn his doctrines, but above all because they loved him".

Let us ask today these Holy Apostles, Simon and Jude, to help us to know and love the Master more and more each day, the same Master whom they followed one day, and who was the center around which their whole life was oriented.