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.’”
GAVE THEM AUTHORITY. After calling attention to the abundant harvest awaiting more laborers, Jesus names his close circle of Twelve disciples or Apostles. They are a variety of seemingly interesting characters and backgrounds although we do not know on what basis Jesus chooses them. But they become his immediate “assistants” or “co-workers” to whom he gives power and authority to do things that he himself is doing: healing, exorcising, preaching the Good News. We can just imagine how privileged they feel especially as they do incredible things in Jesus’ name.
In our times, Jesus continues to call more disciples to continue his mission and be the successors of the Twelve. Realizing this, we should also feel privileged to share in Jesus’ mission and to be in line with the original Twelve Apostles. It seems, however, that this “missionary call” that is inherent in our being Christians or followers of Christ is not quite recognized or owned by many who, as a result, remain Christians only in name. What a wasted opportunity to be Jesus’ hands for our times!
Do we hear God’s call to be active apostles for our times, or are we satisfied with being called Christians without realizing our missionary vocation?
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.