Daily Reflection
January 21st, 2005
Brigid Quinn Laquer
Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
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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 one another.”

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 love.


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