Wednesday 14th Week of the Year.
The 12 disciples Jesus called were from different backgrounds and had different backgrounds. Perhaps today we can make peace with someone we rarely see eye to eye .
We have heard in the Gospels this past week
how Jesus went about healing people
and driving out spirits.
And now he gives that authority
to his twelve disciples.
And it’s awesome to think that God
can give such powers to ordinary people.
And who wouldn’t enjoy praying with people
and seeing them walk again, see again,
healed right on the spot?
It just fascinates us.
However good such gifts are,
and thank God for them,
the Holy Spirit works in people
in even greater ways.
As soon as Jesus gave his twelve disciples
the authority to heal, he names those apostles.
With no disrespect intended,
they were a bunch of misfits
when he called them.
If I were building a kingdom,
I would choose like-minded people,
who would want to do everything my way
from start to finish.
Not Jesus – he has another agenda.
His purpose in calling the twelve disciples and us
is to make us saints.
And he uses the rawest of materials.
He chose Simon who was impulsive,
telling Jesus not to go to the cross
right after Jesus changed his name to Peter, the rock.
He chose James and John
who wanted to burn the place down
when people did not accept them.
He chose Simon, a member of the Zealot party
who hated Rome and he chose Matthew
who collected taxes for Rome.
Imagine the conversation
at the dinner table every night
with those two sitting next to each other.
The greatest gift that Jesus
gave the twelve disciples and gave to us
is love for him and one another.
St. Paul knew this when he said of all of God’s gifts,
“The greatest of these is love.” (Romans 13:13).
We read in the Acts of the Apostles
that St. Paul and St. Peter
didn’t always see eye to eye – far from it.
Miracles and healings are beautiful
but temporary as they reach their fullness in this world.
Conversion from hate to love, from bitterness to mercy,
from unapproachable to welcoming
are gifts that stay with us beyond this world
and reach their fulfillment in heaven.
We are all chosen
to bear this gift of Jesus’ love to the world
every day with everyone,
especially those who are most difficult.