A reading from the gospel of Matthew 10:1-7
1 Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.
2 The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
3 Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
4 Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.
5 Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
6 Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
Reflection: Called to be Sent
Let us call to mind the twelve apostles of Jesus. Their backgrounds are not impressive. They cannot even qualify to become a village chief. Yet we look up to Jesus as a superstar leader. So what did He find in them as to call them to form His inner circle and afterwards to be His delegates to the whole world? We can say that it is their willingness to be transformed. After all, they left everything for the Lord.
Of course, it is not actually all of them. One went on to betray Him. There will always be a rotten one in a basket filled with apples or a black sheep in the family. This is another lesson in human resource management. A candidate may look very appealing at first or on paper and then after being hired, he becomes the headache of the community.
Did Jesus commit a mistake in choosing Judas Iscariot? Probably not because Judas Iscariot was instrumental in the fulfillment of the mission of Christ. Yet Judas Iscariot could have used his freedom and sense of humility to admit his mistake, to repent and be reconciled with Jesus. Instead, he chose to go on his way that lead to his destruction.
Unqualified as the apostles may be, Jesus empowered them. He trained them and gave them the authority to do what He wanted them to do. He gave them the specific task of proclaiming the Kingdom of God.
Today, the apostles are no more. We only have their successors. Are you willing to be one of these successors?
The Kingdom of God is at hand. Who will proclaim it?