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)
When Jesus embarked on his mission, he chose twelve men for the task of preaching the kingdom of God and healing the sick in the power of that kingdom. In the choice of the twelve, we see a characteristic feature of God’s work: Jesus chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, who had no wealth or position. 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.
We can be sure that all these men had dreams and expectations for their lives. Those expectations probably centered on their families and their fishing business. But the gospel doesn’t say anything about their expectations, because it centers on what is most important: the fact that Jesus called them, and they trusted him enough to follow him, to let him lead them into the future.
Of course, when they followed him many things changed. They were not catching fish anymore, but people. They were traveling with Jesus around Galilee and Judea, listening to his teaching, witnessing his death and resurrection, and becoming his messengers throughout the world for a new creation. Their lives were not what they expected. But the gospel doesn’t say anything about those expectations or about how their lives developed. All it tells us is that Jesus called them and they followed him.
The gospel does this to emphasize what is essential in our lives. It wants us to realize that God is real and is calling us. It wants us to know that our lives will unfold not as we dream them but as God dreams them.
The gospel, then, calls us to trust, to open our hearts and allow Christ to make his dream for us a reality. All of us can think of things in our lives we had thought would be different, things in our family, things in our business, things in our relationships. There were successes we never achieved and dangers that we did not avoid
But today’s gospel reminds us that all those expectations are secondary. What is primary is that Christ has called us and we are to follow him.
If we can accept our calling – each and every one of us – we are called to share that belief. The call and the ability to accomplish the call come together.
There are no special gifts, no things that some have and others do not. So the next time you find yourself with someone and you realize that that person’s life could have more meaning and comfort if they knew of a God who loved them and cared for them. Don’t stand there and wait for God to send someone to proclaim that love. Don’t stand there and wait for someone to share that good news. God has already sent someone. That someone is you.
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, 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.”
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. Do you make your life an offering to the Lord and allow him to use you as he sees fit?