Prayer: Basic to Apostleship

Luke 6: 12-16
Eph 2: 19-22 / Ps 19: 2-5

He called His disciples to Himself and chose twelve of them, whom He also designated apostles.
(Luke 6:13)

No other way could be better
If we want to know the Father’s will;
No power on earth can be greater,
Believe our prayers God will fulfill!

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, He called His disciples to Himself and chose twelve of them, whom He also designated apostles: Simon (whom He named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:12-16)

Reflection

Jesus spent the whole night praying to God! Why did Jesus, Who is Himself God, take so much time to commune with His Father? Perhaps because it had something to do with His choice of the apostles who would build His Church on earth after He was gone, and be the foundation of God’s divine plan of salvation. It must have been a difficult task for Jesus, knowing that He was choosing a group of mostly unlettered fishermen, particularly the leader of the group who would deny Him, and one whom He knew would betray Him. Picking Judas as one of His core group of leaders was the first step He would take on His way to Calvary. Jesus was also a man, and He needed the Father’s encouragement and discernment in choosing His “governance team” well.

He called His disciples to Himself… There were more than a hundred disciples who were “followers of Jesus”. They were His ready audience, eager to learn about the kingdom of God and the values that our Lord was teaching, and believing Him for the wonders that they had seen. (He) chose twelve of them, whom He also designated apostles. The apostles were a “special group of disciples” because Jesus hand-picked them, as per instructions from the Father. Not only were they followers of the Lord, but they would be sent as missionaries and representatives of Jesus, delegated with His authority and certain powers. The apostles were the early pillars of the Church that Jesus founded, and the first recipients of the holy mandate and empowerment of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

We can be the modern equivalent of the Lord’s apostles by bringing His Gospel values to others, and living our lives in a manner worthy of His teachings (Phil.1:27a). As St. Paul said in the first reading, we can be “fellow citizens with the holy ones, and members of God’s household, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone” (Eph.2:19-20). To make Him the cornerstone of our life means to imitate Him in every way, especially in praying to the Father.

Remember, the basic requirement in our Christian life if we aspire to be apostles of Jesus is spending quality time in prayer. Why do we find it so hard to spend more time in this sacred activity, even when we are pleading for God’s help in times of troubles or difficulties? It is because the devil tries his best to distract us from this vital source of life. He knows better than we do that prayer is good for our soul. And whatever is good for our soul is hateful to him. Our Lord has taught us the value of prayer. Let us learn from His example. Let us make Him our Model and pray constantly, incessantly, as if everything depends on it.

Father God, our Lord Jesus taught us the value of spending more time with you in prayer. Help us to focus on You, dear God, when we pray, so that we may know Your will in our hearts. Amen.

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