Today is the feast-day of the obscure: Saints Simon and Jude. Those were common names in the first century, and among the Twelve there was a more famous Simon, nicknamed Peter, and a more famous, indeed notorious, Jude or Judas, the one whose name became synonymous with betrayal. There was another Jude later on too, the brother of Jesus, and (IMO) the author of the NT book that bears his name.
It’s tempting to imagine that every time the name of Simon or Judas was mentioned among the circle of Jesus’ close followers, the names were assumed to refer to Peter or Iscariot. The Simon and Judas we remember today must have forever been accustomed to being “no, not him, the other one”. And, apart from the mention of their names, nothing is really known about these most obscure of apostles.
The readings for the day make much reference to the idea of Christ the cornerstone, and the apostles as the foundation of God’s eschatological temple. It’s not impossible that in part that language picks up the idea that the stone of Golgotha was precisely that which had not been quarried for the building of the temple: the stone that the builders quite literally rejected.
The presence of quite anonymous, uncelebrated and barely remembered apostles belong in the foundation layer of the church, and fit at least as well together with a rejected cornerstone as those whose names became famous.
And a church built on an apostolate that includes Simon and Judas – no not them, the other ones – will firmly resists celebrity culture, and cherish its anonymous members, the unnamed and barely noticed “other ones”. They are as much a part of its foundation and inheritance as those who get noticed and more obviously sung and celebrated.