January 21 2022 Gospel Reading and Reflection: Mark 3:13-19

A reading from the gospel according to Mark 3:13-19:

13 Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.
14 He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach
15 and to have authority to drive out demons:
16 He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter;
17 James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;
18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
19 and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Reflection: Called to Serve

The use of a mountain by Jesus as the venue for appointing His twelve apostles is very significant. Aside from its high elevation which means it is close to the sky or the heavens, it is also a secluded place. Let us remember How God the Father called Moses and gave Him the Ten Commandment in a mountain. Thus, we could see the need for His apostles to be “set apart” from the crowd. They are special due to the fact that they were given the special mission to spread the Word of God and to build the Kingdom as established by Jesus Himself.

The appointment of the twelve in a secluded place rather than in a synagogue or in a popular venue in Jerusalem means that the apostles are to imbibe the simplicity of Jesus and also for them to reach out to people even in the farthest corners of the world. Contrast it to modern practice of inducting officers of organizations in posh hotels or convention centers in the full glare of television cameras.

Jesus never sought public attention and adulation. In many instances, He gave instruction not to spread the information of the miracles of healing which he performed. By calling His apostles in a remote area, He subliminally conveyed the message that they were to focus on service and not on status or fame. In fact, when He sent them on a training mission, He specifically instructed them not to take extra sandal or bag or gold or silver with them (Matthew 10:9-10). Nevertheless, He empowered them to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

The calling of the twelve apostles was no easy task. In other accounts, Jesus was said to have prayed all night. He was to select the most qualified among all His thousands of disciples. Still, one of them betrayed Him. Was it a mistake? This goes to show that the road to service is full of loopholes and the call to service comes with it many kinds of stumbling blocks. Yet serve we must continue.

Read more on this topic here.

Gospel Reading and Reflection for January 21, 2022
Gospel Reading and Reflection for January 21, 2022

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