Different kinds of people followed Jesus. The most numerous but least organized were the crowds who thronged around Jesus to listen to him and to benefit from his powerful deeds. There was also a group more attached to Jesus, followed him for a period of time, and even supported him and his intimate group out of their means. The closest to Jesus were the twelve he appointed to be with him and whom he would later send. They are called “apostles” because they would be sent to towns and villages of Israel and, before Jesus’ ascension, to all the nations.
Later on, this company would be known as a distinct group — the Twelve (Greek dodeka), with or without the addition “apostles.” The number twelve has a clear redemptive and historical symbolism. The Twelve represent in a new form the people of the twelve tribes of Israel—the Chosen People. In the selection of the Twelve, Jesus is forming a new community of God, not just as represented by them, but formed through them as they continue the mission of Jesus.
The Twelve are Jesus’ closest collaborators. To them is entrusted the authority of leadership in the community of disciples, the new Chosen People, just as the twelve sons of Jacob were to Israel. The Catholic Church traces its origin to Jesus through the Apostles. In the Nicene Creed, the faithful profess belief in the “holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.”
Gospel • MARK 3:13-19
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.