Appointed by Christ

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Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 3:13-19
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.
Opening Prayer: Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will. In today’s Gospel you appoint and send out your Twelve Apostles. I know that you have appointed me in the very same way. You have called me, set me apart, and then sent me. Please give me the strength to respond to your call. I wish to do your will and be your apostle. Although I know you will give me the strength, oftentimes I feel the weight of this mission, and I begin to doubt. I want to renew my commitment and my decision to answer your call and your mission.
Encountering Christ:

  1. To Be with Him: The Gospel shows us that Jesus appointed his Twelve Apostles primarily so that they could be with him. To be with Jesus is the first reason to be an apostle. Even though the Greek word for apostle means someone who is sent, the Gospel makes it clear that the apostle, first of all, needs to be with Jesus. All of us need this. We need to be with Jesus always. There’s no better reason to be an apostle than to be committed to accompanying Jesus side by side. 
  2. Sent Forth to Preach: Now we come to the meaning of the Greek word for apostle: someone who is sent forth. How can an apostle of Christ both be with Christ and sent forth? Maybe we can find the answer in why the apostles are sent forth—to preach. An apostle can preach Christ only when he is with Christ. And truly preaching Christ makes him present with us and present to those listening. What an amazing spiritual reality. 
  3. Authority to Drive Out Demons: The authority to drive out demons may strike us as an incredible superpower. But Christ lists it in last place of his reasons for calling the apostles. The power to expel demons is a consequence of being with Christ and preaching him. When we do this according to God’s will, there’s very little room for the enemy to act. With Christ by our side, the devil is powerless and can wreak no evil in our soul, even though we know he is constantly out to destroy us.

Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, you have called me to be your apostle. It is a mission well beyond me, and many times I do not understand how to do it well. I have tried to meditate on the reasons you have called me, the reasons you call all of us. Help me to stay close to you always. Help me to preach you fearlessly to everyone that I meet. Keep me strong against the temptations of the devil. 
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reflect on the vocation you have called me to, and see how I can better be with you, preach you, and stand strong against the devil in my life and in the life of others.
For Further Reflection: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ and manifests through us the odor of the knowledge of him in every place. For we are the aroma of Christ for God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to the latter an odor of death that leads to death, to the former an odor of life that leads to life. Who is qualified for this? For we are not like the many who trade on the word of God; but as out of sincerity, indeed as from God and in the presence of God, we speak in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).
Father John Studer, LC, is from Atlanta, Georgia, and is currently the Director of ECYD in Mexico City.

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