Commentary on the Gospel of
“When the day came, he (Jesus) called his disciples to himself and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles.” Luke
I picture Jesus walking slowly down the mountain, tired after a night praying over whom to call as apostles. At the foot of the mountain, the disciples waited, speculating about what Jesus would pronounce. Were they anxious like people today at a meeting where a major decision will be announced?
Then I hear Jesus calling the names of the 12 chosen, one by one, in some cases with a bit of description to help us distinguish who they were.
Were they proud and elated or frightened? Did they have a clue what this selection meant? Would they have accepted the honor if they had known that they would eventually become martyrs in distant places? Were the disciples who were not chosen hurt or angry or possibly relieved? Did some abandon Jesus?
There’s a message in the way that Jesus called his apostles by NAME and that Luke records these important names. The apostles were individuals with distinctive histories, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Each had an individual reaction to his call. Each could say yes or no. Just like us.
In our tradition, community is extremely important but communities are composed of individuals. As the hymn “You Are Mine” reminds us, “I have called you each by name. I love you and you are mine.” Each of us is precious to Jesus just as the apostles were and we each make distinctive contributions to the Christian community just as the apostles did.
We must all be rooted in Jesus and walk with him, as St. Paul says in the first reading, but to do that we must discern our particular way of walking with him. Maybe our call is humble – to do loving daily things for the people we live with and encounter - while others like the saints have grander missions. But we all must find our way.
Blessings as you discover and live out your response to your call, whatever it is.