The Divine Appointment


Mark 3: 13-19
1Sm 24:3-21 / Psa 57

He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.
(Mark 3:14-15)

Chant His praise across the nation!
Let His Good News be heard by all!
We’ve been chosen for salvation,
All you faithful who heed His call.

Jesus went up on a mountain and called those whom He wanted, and they came to Him. He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve He appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James, son of Zebedee and his brother John (whom he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Mark 3:13-19)

Reflection

It is worth noting that none of those Jesus called to be His apostles were men of distinction, power or wealth. In fact almost all of them were just ordinary folks like you and me, with failings and ambitions, impulsiveness and indecision. Our Lord chose His apostles for an important purpose specific to each one as only He, being omniscient could know. I believe Christ picked these ordinary, mostly unlettered men because they were unaffected, and therefore still malleable. They might have been vulnerable and lacking in faith at first, but Jesus knew that in time, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, what they had learned from Him they would later use to turn the world upside down, resulting in the conversion even of the notoriously pagan empire of Rome into the future capital of the Christian world.

Our Lord Jesus continues to choose His leaders to serve Him in His Church, as well as in its supporting lay communities. This, essentially, is the meaning of ‘vocation’. This is why in our renewal community or brotherhood, we believe that when we are asked to head a ministry, whether in the choir, teaching, mission, etc., the ‘marching order’ does not come from the governance, council of elders, or head of our community, but from God Himself. St. Paul expressed this clearly when he said, “I became a servant of this Gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of His power” (Eph. 3:7). Our Lord Jesus Himself said in another instance: “You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit…” (John 15:16).

The choice of leaders is never an easy task. In most communities, the selection goes through a process of discernment, invoking the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. When our Lord Jesus picked His apostles, He did not merely pray in the usual manner, but according to the version of St. Luke’s Gospel, “He spent the whole night in prayer” (Lk.6:12). Our Lord must have done this to set an example to all His followers about the importance of imploring the Father Himself to preside over the selection of our spiritual leaders.

Indeed we feel it is such a special privilege that the Lord Jesus Himself, through the Holy Spirit, has chosen us for the mission of spreading His Good News to others. As we strive to be one of His present-day disciples, it’s but fitting that we give Him our best efforts in accomplishing our assigned tasks, like St. Paul, who said, “To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me” (Col.1:29).

Dear God, help us to follow Your will in our life. We put our complete trust in You, believing that all things work out for the good for those who are called to serve Your kingdom. We praise and thank You, loving Father, for this special privilege. Amen.

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