The Mission of the Twelve
13[Jesus] went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. 14He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach 15and to have authority to drive out demons: 16[he appointed the twelve:] Simon, whom he named Peter; 17James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; 18Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, 19and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
He appointed twelve that they might be with him. This is our calling, our appointment: to be with Jesus—to learn from him, to draw strength from him, and to know his Father. Then, and only then, can we go forth and preach the good news. The Gospel is not for us to keep and enjoy but for us to share and encourage people to live according to the Word. Finally, we are sent to drive out the demons that enslave men and cause men to dominate others.
All these we will discover if we also know how to go “up the mountain” once in a while. Our mountain may be our own quiet space, our own moment of daily prayer, or our own secluded place of encounter with God. There, “up in the sky,” far from the comforts and siren songs of the world, God confronts us as we are, and our souls can see God.
The number “twelve” has a clear redemptive-historical significance. The people of Israel were formed of the twelve tribes from the twelve sons of Jacob (Ex 1:1). Through the choice of twelve disciples whom he named apostles, Jesus is forming a new community of God. Their relationship to Jesus explains their existence and their authority. Being with Jesus qualifies the Twelve to bear witness to him and to participate in his mission to proclaim the Good News.
After a week of work, drop by the church today to pray quietly.