All shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more. (Heb 8:11-13)
Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. (Ps 85:11-12)
He named Apostles that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach. (Mk 3:14)
Today we hear once again the names of the twelve men Jesus appointed as Apostles.
But what do we really know about them? Very little, and the few stories
we have do not always show the ‘apostles’ as exemplary disciples. In
fact, the names have slight variations in the four lists that we have in
Matthew, Mark, Luke and Acts. But I do not think that the lack of information
or the disagreement in information is really of much importance.
What is of importance is that Jesus appointed people to go forth and preach
while he was still living. He entrusted to them his very own mission
and message, and conferred on them the power to carry out his work, in his
name. Our tradition tells us that the willingness of these twelve men
to respond to Jesus’ call marks the beginning of our ‘church.’ We now
are ‘the church,’ the People of God, and Jesus has entrusted his mission
and message to us, with the power to carry out his work of salvation for
the whole world. At Baptism we are given the Holy Spirit. At
Confirmation we corroborate the presence of that same Holy Spirit within
us. In the Eucharist the Holy Spirit gives us strength and nourishment
to carry out our mission: “to go in peace to love and serve the Lord and
Our mission is to love and serve each other in peace, not just those who
are easy to love and serve, but everyone. It does not matter whether
we are known by others or what is known of us. What matters is that
we respond to Jesus’ call to apostleship with our own willingness and availability
“to be sent forth.” What matters is that we are loving, compassionate
people who show to everyone how much God loves them by loving them.
We cannot love someone if we demonize him or her. We cannot love someone
if we fear him or her. We cannot love when we emphasis our differences.
Love is unitive: it makes two become one. In order to love we must
recognize that we all share the same human nature created by God and we share
the same poverty of spirit, the same dependence on God. We must look
beyond the surface and “see” the goodness, the kindness, the compassion that
every person has within them because they are made in the image and likeness
of God and God is love. We are to see the presence of God in every
man and woman of every language, every culture and every faith. Our
message and mission is the same as Jesus’, and we remember it at each Mass.
We are to love God by serving each other and to serve God by loving each
other. We must be “for others” in imitation of Christ’s total self-giving
and his attitude of service. They will know we are Christians by our