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. (Mark 3:13-19)
Today’s Gospel talks of Jesus calling 12 people to be His disciples, not just followers. People who would go out and preach and heal in His name.
What a group! They are not the cream of the crop among men; they’re not the highest, the noblest, and the best; they’re not the most educated, the most highly skilled, the most gifted humanly speaking. These twelve men were normal, average, and nothing special when it came to their resume. They were all different: different personalities, different backgrounds, different religious upbringing, different skills, different strengths and weaknesses. Yet they were all chosen to serve Jesus in a unique and special way.
So now you are thinking: “OK, here comes the hook”. Not quite. Yes, I am talking about His call to each of us. But I will talk about what a call means and does for us.
We Christians believe that each of is called into a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Personal and intimate.
Someone once said, “Our problem with following Jesus is we are trying to be a better version of us rather than a more accurate reflection of Him.” There is much truth in that. Too many people take their perceived weaknesses, their life history, their current condition, their insecurities and use these as reasons why they are “not called. As reasons why they should stay on the sidelines and let others answer “the call. So too many people leave the call to others.
The point is simple here. Jesus Christ created you. Jesus Christ knows you. Jesus Christ loves you. He loves you for who you are. He sees in you the ability to be His light to others.
Christ doesn’t call you just to simply enjoy the present life. He has created you for a purpose. He has given you a specific vocation that only you can fulfill. You are irreplaceable; there will never be another you.
HERE is the opportunity. The opportunity that you have to share in this friendship with Our Lord is an invitation to do something with him and for him. Christ’s love for you invites and beckons you to collaborate with Him. Who can resist an invitation to collaborate with someone so great, and with an offer so challenging and yet so fulfilling?
Trying to be something we are not, in the sense of trying to fit a stereotype of what a Christian in the workplace ought to be like, can be highly problematic and can leave others feeling that we are inauthentic. We may be called to imitate Christ (Philippians 2:5) but this is a matter of emulating virtue, not personality.
And what does God require of those He calls? He asks us to live close to him as we serve him, and in return, He promises to stay close to us.
So, there it is. The reward. What does living a life close to Him yield? If we seek to live a life that mirrors His virtues, think of what it does. You will begin to know His peace. You will begin to notice that your life seems more fulfilled. You begin to understand how special you can be. Your head lifts a bit higher. Your gaze looks to the horizon, not the pebbles in the path (and yes you will stumble because your humanity gets in the way but just like the 12, you will prevail).
Christ’s love for you and me invites and beckons us to collaborate with him. Who can resist an invitation to collaborate with someone so great, and with an offer so challenging and yet so fulfilling?
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, you have wished for me to enter your friendship. You have called me by name to be your friend. You have invited me to help you in the New Evangelization. I want to help you and do my part. Give me the strength to be close to you and to collaborate with you in this great undertaking.”
The twelve chosen by Jesus were common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages. Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these men, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power. When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not shrug back because we think that we have little or nothing to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom