Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time - The Perfect Choice

Jesus summoned his 12 disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, "Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

Introductory Prayer:Lord I believe your Kingdom is at hand, truly before me right now, ready to be latched onto with my response to your call. Help me experience the look of love you have in your eyes as you ask all that you wish of me today. Help my heart to embrace with bold confidence the mission that is to define my life both here and in eternity. 

Petition:Lord grant me the grace to be generous and trustful concerning your plan for me.

1. The Kingdom Needs Apostles. As a condition for the Kingdom to grow it must have protagonists. For this Christ refuses to be a one-man show. We honor and bow before the divine choice expressed in Christ’s desire to not let his victory be realized but through others, beginning with the Twelve. In the Twelve I find the model of every call of Christ to build his Kingdom, spreading the faith by word and deed. Have I meditated on my call often? Do I see it linked to my family and to my workplace? Have I responded to it fully aware of its meaning? If there is no response to his call, there is no Kingdom.

2. He Called Them . Many were on the mountain that day with all sorts of talents and gifts. Many were drawn to him and longed to be close to him, but only 12 were to receive the explicit call as Apostles. The sense of predilection is in every vocation and every mission from God. What I am chosen for in life, no one else is. They are called by name, meaning that Christ knows each well when he calls, including all their defects and weaknesses. He did not ask the Twelve for their preferences, look at their SAT scores or scrutinize their résumé. It is a choice of God, revealed in prayer, manifesting itself to be sovereign and omnipotent in action. The Twelve cannot think there has been some mistake or some miscalculation. This is the voice of God speaking who neither deceives nor can be deceived. 

3. Responding in Freedom. Christ calls freely, and in freedom the Twelve must respond. He did not bring down angels from heaven to overwhelm them to cooperate––he merely prayed to the Father––, and as Lord of the harvest he called each one. Your vocation as an apostle, to be a “vocation”, is not a question of wanting it to be one. It is not a question of all the talents or compelling feelings for this or that direction, but of the faith-driven awareness of God asking, and you giving. Why are you where you are now in your vocation in life? In your particular marriage? In a particular lay movement? You can never know fully, for only God knows the depths of his own wisdom. This is the first mystery of the Kingdom that touches each one personally. It is because God called, he willed it, and you said “Yes”. That is the only answer an apostle must seek. Anything more slows down the mission, and interrupts the dialogue of love and confident service in the mission. 

Dialogue with Christ: Lord, I want to affirm that all my work today is going to be my response to your call to be your disciple and a light to others in this world. I resolve never to doubt the special and perfect nature of your plan for me. May my heart always be confident and generous in responding to your voice today.

Resolution: I will take the hardest part of my day and embrace that moment with greater joy out of love for the one who has called me.

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