July 8, 2015
In today’s Gospel reading we see Jesus missioning the twelve apostles and empowering them to subdue evil spirits and to heal physical sickness and diseases. The names of the chosen Twelve are given, starting with Simon Peter.
We see that Jesus’ choice and selection of the Twelve are so different from our common and established criteria for choosing leaders and followers as we have today. We had seen how Jesus called his close followers: fishermen, a tax collector, common folk. The gospels do not tell us what formal schooling they had nor did Jesus ask about their formal schooling. He called them and they generously answered his call.
Their schooling was being with Jesus, listening and hearing him, seeing him and watching him work miracles and cures, teach and talk with the people.
Their mission: to proclaim that “the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” At the end of his earthly life, at his return to his Father in heaven, Jesus missioned his disciples to “go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation,” to “go and make disciples from all nations and to baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teach them to fulfill all that I have commanded.”
Pope Francis has declared 2014 as the Year of the Laity. The same mandate given to the Twelve as given in today’s Gospel reading and at his ascension to heaven is also given to all his followers, to each and every one of us: “to proclaim the Good News to all creation.”
Do we see and understand this mission given to each one of us? How have we lived out the Gospel message? How have we shared with others our understanding and living out of the Good News?