January 19, 2018
Jesus appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: Mk_3:13-19
David said to Saul the king: ” I had some thought of killing you, but I took pity on you instead. I decided, ‘I will not raise a hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’s anointed and a father to me.’ Look here at this end of your mantle which I hold. Since I cut off an end of your mantle and did not kill you, see and be convinced that I plan no harm and no rebellion. I have done you no wrong, though you are hunting me down to take my life. . . . Against whom are you on campaign, O king of Israel? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, or a single flea!” 1_Sm_24:3-21
The word Apostle, as derived from the Greek language, means – one who is sent away: a messenger, a missionary, or an ambassador. The 12-Special men whom Jesus called, delegated, consecrated and sent away – were called His Apostles, in contrast to all of His other followers or students, who were called His Disciples.
And yet, OF those 12 Apostles, we also notice, throughout the Gospels, that three of them were closest to Jesus – in that He included them in revelations that the others were excluded from; like His Transfiguration and His Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. These three were Simon Peter and the brothers James and John.
And just like God’s selection of David as the King of Israel, it wasn’t the ultra-handsome Saul, who would lead a dynasty of Kings up to Jesus, but it was the lowly shepherd boy, David.
And in that selection of David, God gave Samuel, gave us, the exact reason for His selection. He said, “Not as man sees does God see, because he (man) sees the appearance, but the LORD looks into the heart.” 1_Sm_16:7
You see, none of those 12 Apostles were accredited, degreed or registered. None of them were Pharisees, or Sadducees, or Scribes – the religious leaders of the time. Instead, they were all simple men with a wide variety of professions and personalities: some loud, some fearless, some assertive, some quiet and some rebellious. They were fishermen and farmers. They were tax collectors and dreamers.
They were men who could see that there was something wrong with the system as it was. Because, they knew their Scriptures and they knew their Jewish roots. And they knew that neither the Romans nor the Jewish Leaders were getting it right.
But this man, this Jesus – was!
And we could say the same thing about David. David knew that there was a loose screw somewhere in Saul’s personality. But he also knew, that until God made a definitive move, beyond, just Samuel’s anointing, he knew that he still had to respect Saul as his king, as his leader and as God’s ‘chosen one.’
And there’s absolutely no difference with our world and it’s leaders today. But it IS up to us to show that rational control, just as David did.
When we can differentiate the calls of our human nature: to fight, to protect, to hide, to rebel, to hate, and to kill, from the calls of God: to trust, to respect, to speak up for the Truth, to choose life over death, and to Love, then, like Jesus’ chosen-12, and like David, regardless of what kind of credentials or authority the world may think we have, or don’t have, we will be among the few, the special ones, that God will use to spread His beautiful message of Love and Mercy to the world.
Then WE will be, beyond just a disciple, we will be an Apostle of Jesus. Today, let’s pray for that wisdom of discernment. In our Baptisms, God has given the Holy Spirit to all of us, beloved, to guide us in that Wisdom.
All we have to do, is TRUST!
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