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Gathered and Sent
Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
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.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, you reveal to me in scriptures and through the Tradition and teachings of the Church your plan for humanity. Help me to recognize the gift of the Church in your plan of salvation.
- “He Went Up the Mountain”: Throughout sacred scriptures, mountain summits are revelatory places: the Ten Commandments were revealed on Mount Sinai; the foreshadowing of the Messiah’s sacrifice was revealed on Mount Moriah upon which Abraham brought his son Isaac; the Transfiguration in which the Spirit and the Father revealed the Son took place on Mount Tabor. They also represent solemn moments of encounter with God in which he established some truth. We could make a parallel to our spiritual life. When we set aside some time to “go to the mountain” to pray (on a daily basis or at a retreat, for example), it often bears fruit in a deeper knowledge of God. We can return from the mountain more deeply convicted about the plan of God for our lives.
- A Chosen Twelve: In this Gospel passage, Jesus “makes” or appoints twelve apostles. From all the other disciples he chose twelve, mysteriously even choosing one who would fall away from the fold. These twelve apostles were chosen as the foundation stones of the Church to “be with him,” “to preach,” and “to have authority to drive out demons.” Jesus gave them the mandate to continue his mission and the power to do so. I, too, am chosen and bear gifts to bring about the Kingdom here and now.
- You Are the Eternal Shepherd: With the mandate came a promise to be with them. Christ’s presence with those appointed for this mission continues today through the apostles’ successors. The Mass Preface of the Apostles I proclaims, “You are the eternal Shepherd who never leaves his flock untended. Through the apostles you watch over us and protect us always. You made them shepherds of the flock to share in the work of your Son.” Though one may fall, they are nonetheless appointed. This truth highlights the need for the rest of the Church to pray for its leaders, that none may be lost.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, I do not always understand your ways, but help me to trust in you and your Mystical Body the Church. I pray for her leaders and all the fold, that we will be faithful to your desires for holiness and mission, bringing many more to encounter you more fully through the Church.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace, I will pray for those in leadership in the Church, that they may use their invested authority for the holiness of the Church and all peoples.
For Further Reflection: Scott Hahn on Papal Infallibility, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5crScs1uWtg.
CCC 857-870 http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi who is dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala.