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The mission of the Twelve


Gospel Reading: Lk 6:12-19


JESUS departed to the moun­tain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Mat­thew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscari­ot, who became a traitor.

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal re­gion of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.


Reflections: He spent the night in prayer to God

After his preaching and heal­ing activities, Jesus withdraws from the crowd and prays the whole night. In private he com­munes with God. What is his in­tention in praying? Does he seek some peace and rest? Based on the next line, we learn that Jesus prays for enlightenment as to whom he should name Apostles. He chooses them in the context of prayer.

The next day, in fact, he names the Twelve. To be an apostle is to be sent with a commission. In other words, Je­sus authorizes them to preach and to heal. Not all the disciples are called to share in his mission. Jesus does not send the Apostles right away. But now, when he does his ministry, they should be there watching closely. They are called to observe. They will be sent later and will be on their own.

Jesus prays all night so that he will choose right. Yet he ends up with one bad choice: Judas Is­cariot, who will betray him. What does this mean? This is a fact of life. No matter how hard we pray, we cannot get all we want, just as not all our performances will be superb and our kitchen creations delicious. Perhaps it is also part of God’s will for us that we accept the bad to enhance the good.

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Do you find time to pray?

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