A reading from the gospel according to Luke 6:12-19
12 Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.
13 When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,
15 Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot,
16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
17 And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon
18 came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured.
19 Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.
Reflection: Pray, Call, Heal
Good News: Power comes forth from Jesus.
In this gospel reading, we see Jesus in the mountain spending the night in prayer. Apparently He has a special task to do the next day and that is, selecting 12 men who will become His apostles. Yet this is not the only instance that Jesus was alone praying. There are other verses in the four gospels that tell us about Jesus getting out of the crowd in order to have time to pray alone. See Matthew 14:23, Mark 6:46, Luke 5:16, Luke 9:18
It only goes to show that we ought to pray fervently most especially when we have an important decision to make. We pray for strength to make hard decisions. We pray for wisdom and understanding that we may be able to discern the will of God in our life. We pray for humility and purity of heart that whatever we do, we do it for the glory of God.
After praying, Jesus selected twelve men to form the nucleus of His community and to continue His mission after he goes back to the Father. What qualification did these 12 men have to deserve such special appointment? Obviously, they were too ordinary to even qualify for a village chief. Yet Jesus saw something in them what modern HR practitioners might not see. In the heart of these ordinary men, Jesus saw the seed of faith. Recall that in John 6:67, many of His disciples turned away from Him so Jesus asked the twelve, “will you also go away?” Peter, speaking in behalf of the others, replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” There they are! They believed that Jesus has the words of eternal life. That’s their foremost qualification!
After their appointment, the 12 apostles went down with Jesus to the level ground. A great crowd came near to Jesus to hear Him and to be healed. As part of their training, we could assume they assisted Jesus in crowd-control activities but more importantly, they witnessed how POWER came forth from Jesus as He healed the sick and those tormented with unclean spirits.
For the next three years, the apostles walked with Jesus. They ate and drank with Him. They listened to Him and at one time, Jesus sent them on a mission to other towns with clear instructions. Finally, Jesus empowered them with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day. This is how Jesus takes care of those whom He has called.
Can we be one of the 12 “apostles” in our own community? We may think of ourselves as unworthy because we are too ordinary for the great task of saving humanity but if we believe and make ourselves available, the Holy Spirit can empower and transform us into servant leaders. Nothing is impossible with Him. Power comes forth from Him! We just need faith.