Mark 3: 13-19
Jesus Appoints the Twelve
13 And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him.
14 And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach
15 and have authority to cast out demons:
16 Simon whom he surnamed Peter;
17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;
18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus, and Simon the Cananaean,
19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Then he went home. (& Lk 6: 12-16)
Today’s Gospel passage gives a short account of the call and mission of the Apostles. Jesus is the first missionary, sent by His Father with the “Good News” that God His Father is a loving, merciful and forgiving Father who wants to save everyone through His Son Jesus. Today’s Gospel describes how Jesus selects and empowers twelve future missionaries as Apostles, giving them His own mission and sending them to Jewish towns and villages as His heralds.
Jesus selected very ordinary people, most of them hard-working fishermen with no social status, learning or political influence, because He was sure that they would be very effective instruments in God’s hands. It was a strange mixture of people. Matthew was a hated tax-collector for a foreign power while Simon the Cananaean was a Zealot and fanatical nationalist who was determined to destroy Roman rule by any means. The others were mostly professional fishermen with a lot of good will, patience and stamina. It was only their admiration and love for Jesus that united them. Jesus selected them after a night of prayer and gave them His own powers of healing and exorcism and His own mission of preaching the “Kingdom of God.”
1) As Christians we have the same mission that Jesus entrusted to His ApostlesWe fulfill this mission of proclaiming the word of God primarily by our living out of Jesus’ teachings and by promoting and helping the world-wide missionary activities of the Church with prayer, moral support and financial aid. (Fr. Tony)