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The Honor to Represent Christ
Memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
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: Lord, you appointed people to be with you, and to be sent out to preach. As I spend time with you today, listening to your word, help me to hear your call to me. Open my ears that I may listen as each of the Twelve Apostles did, that I may be ready to hear you and respond.
- Appointed to Be with Him: For what purpose did Jesus call the apostles? What was the principal reason he chose them? First and foremost, they were called to simply be with Christ. The most important thing for the heart of Christ was not what they would accomplish or how effective their work would be–yes, he did want them to bear fruit–but his first concern was the relationship they would have with him. We often tend to want to be apostles first, to get things done, rather than putting our emphasis on the simple joy of being with him. Jesus calls us primarily to be still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:10).
- Appointed to Be Sent Forth: The Apostles were chosen by Jesus to be his emissaries. They were being given a task, one that probably none of them felt prepared for. Perhaps they felt afraid in these moments and had to grow in trust, as we do! Jesus didn’t decide to do all of the work of saving humankind on his own back then, and he doesn’t do it alone now. He still appoints emissaries. In fact, he has decided to involve us in his work, which is the greatest project ever carried out on earth: the salvation of souls. The work that we do for Christ should always be a source of great joy, since he has invited us by name and given us unique talents with which to take part in this amazing mission, unworthy as we are!
- Given Authority: Jesus has a special authority. He can expel evil spirits and they obey him without the freedom to dissent. When he commands someone to be healed, it happens. He even rules over nature, as he did with the sea and waves during a storm. Here, Jesus shared this authority with the men he had chosen to represent him. What a gift it is to be called to work with him, to work beside him, and to represent him! If we don’t see the power of miracles in our life, we can ask for that grace. Our Lord invites us to be his hands and feet to demonstrate his power and might as we spread the Good News and expand the Kingdom of God in our ordinary everyday lives.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, you have chosen me. You want me to be a close collaborator. I see myself in a world that is threatening and contrary to your Gospel, yet you want to send me out with authority and power. Give me your courage. Let my heart be so on fire that I can spread your love and your word with confidence. I am working alongside you, the one to whom all power and dominion belong.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will overcome any fear of representing you and make a point of speaking about you as the opportunity presents itself.
For Further Reflection: Acts 5:40-41, the Apostles rejoicing at suffering for the sake of the Name.
Fr. Adam Zettel, LC, was ordained in 2017 and worked for three years as a high school chaplain in Dallas, Texas. Now he resides in Oakville, Ontario, serving youth and young adults.