Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them
authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to
cure every disease and every illness. The names of
the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter,
and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and
his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew
the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and
Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed
him. Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them
thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a
Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of
the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
Lord, I bring myself into your presence knowing
the zeal of your heart for souls. The glory
of your heavenly Father can shape my own heart. I
am confident that, just as the Twelve lit the
flame of their love for their mission from the furnace
of your divine love, I can ignite all that
is lukewarm and tepid in my own soul today.
I desire to fulfill more perfectly the mission you have
Petition: Lord, grant me the
grace to be generous and trustful concerning your plan for
1. Jesus Needs Apostles: A condition for the Kingdom to
grow is that it have protagonists. Christ refuses to
be a one-man show. We honor and bow before the
divine choice expressed in Christ’s desire to let his
victory be realized through others, beginning with the Twelve.
In the Twelve we find the model of every call
of Christ to build his Kingdom, to spread the
faith by word and deed. If there is no response
to his call, there is no Kingdom. Have I
meditated on my call often? Do I see it
linked to my family and to my workplace? Have I
responded to it?
2. The Calling: Many were on the
mountain that day. Many were drawn to him and
longed to be close to him, but only 12
received the explicit call to be Apostles. The sense of
predilection is in every vocation and every mission from
God. What we are chosen for in life, no
one else can fulfill it. We are called by name,
meaning that Christ knows us well when he calls,
including all our defects and weaknesses. He did not ask
the Twelve for their preferences, look at their SAT
scores, or scrutinize their résumés. The choice of God,
revealed in prayer, is sovereign and omnipotent in action.
The Twelve cannot think there has been some mistake or
some miscalculation. The voice of God, who neither deceives
nor can be deceived, is speaking.
3. A Free Response:
Christ called freely, and in freedom the Twelve responded.
He did not bring down angels from heaven to
overwhelm them to cooperate, he merely prayed to the Father.
As Lord of the harvest, he has called each
one of us. Our vocation as an apostle, is not
a question of our wanting to be one. It
is not a question of our talents or compelling
feelings for this or that, but of our faith-driven awareness
of God asking and our responding. Why are we
where we are now in our vocation in life?
In our particular marriage? In a particular lay movement? We
can never know fully, for only God knows the
depths of his own wisdom. This is the first
mystery of the Kingdom that touches each one of us
personally: God called, he willed it, and we said
“yes.” This is the only answer an apostle must seek.
Anything else slows down the mission and interrupts the
dialogue of love and service to the mission.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I want to affirm
that all my work today is going to be my
response to your call to be your disciple and
a light to others in this world. I resolve never
to doubt the special and perfect nature of your
plan for me. May my heart always be confident
and generous in responding to your voice.
I will take the hardest part of my day
and embrace it with greater joy out of love for
the one who has called me.