Daily Reflection – 1/20/2023
He 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 marks an historic day in the life of the Christian Church. Jesus takes twelve of those who had been with him, walking with him, listening to Him, and He calls them to be His apostles . . . anointing them to preach, to heal, to drive out demons.
Each of the twelve was an ordinary person engaged in ordinary tasks in their lives. In the choice of the twelve, we see a characteristic feature of God’s work: Jesus chose very ordinary people. They were chosen from the 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.
And the parallel for us? It’s both simple and profound. You and I are called to the same apostolate. You and I have been called to proclaim the Good News of His birth, to witness to the meaning of His life on earth and to attest to the meaning of His human death so that we could live eternally.
The fact is that too many move away from the significance of His call. Too many feel that “ the call” is reserved for the super church goer, those that are different, those that are “almost perfect.” Too many consider the message to be one that is best discussed in a Church.
But that is as far from the truth as it could be.
It’s our humanity that He wants to use.
It’s to our humanity that He issues the call not just to follow Him but to LIVE Him in the conduct of our lives.
He wants our humanity to speak to those around us. The words from our mouths and the actions from our hands.
He loves us so much that he asks us to be His light. To be in His light in simple ways. Moving out of our cocoon and stretching out a hand to help. Soothing the anxiety of a friend. Standing up to those that want to control others. Respecting the life and dignity of each person. Using our lives to comfort, to love and to make a difference.
God loves us, shaping us in Christ, encouraging us to develop the characteristics necessary for us to become his children. Only by discovering our God-given vocation —the true reasons for our life— and by fulfilling it on his terms, will we come to know ourselves as God knows us.
THAT is how we come to know God!
When we begin to take those actions which show the love of God. When we begin to reflect Him in our lives. We are changed. Little by little, we begin to notice that there is an added vitality to our loves. We feel more freely. We see life through different lenses. We find our heart moving us and speaking to us. We begin to feel the peace which has eluded us. We find that the chains of our past life which held us back, or shaped a self-image that is not positive, or held us in a place or a position which closed off our life, are broken.
We are free because we know the power of His name in our lives.
When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not hang 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.
Be great today.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, fill me with gratitude and generosity for all you have done for me. Take my life and all that I have as an offering of love for you, who are my all.
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. Yet, God speaks to each one of us individually and specifically. Today, and every day, we must meditate upon the true nature of our call to vocation, answering his call with an increased love, born of our increased understanding of what He calls us to do and to be.