Thursday, October 27, 2011

From Them He Chose Twelve

Feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles

October 28, 2011

By Melanie Rigney

Feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles

Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. (Ephesians 2:19-20)

Their message goes out through all the earth. (Psalms 19:5)

When day came, (Jesus) called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve,whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter,and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot,and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor. (Luke 6:13-16)


Lord, thank you for the guides you place in my life.


And so he selected twelve.

Why twelve? Who knows? For the twelve tribes of Israel? For the twelve patriarchs? Because he was twelve when we first know of his presence at the temple? Or because of all the disciples, he saw something special in them?

Thanks to the wonders of today’s telecommunications systems, we all have far more people in our lives than Jesus did. We talk on the phone to them. We text them. We e-mail them. We follow them on Twitter. We like them and “poke” them on Facebook. We fly hundreds or thousands of miles to see them. We sit in meetings with them. We go out to dinner with them. We pray with them and laugh with them and cry with them.

But we go to different friends—and they come to us—for different reasons and different seasons. I recently had dinner for the first time in a few months with someone I’ve known about five years. I came home feeling empty and, to be honest, a little frustrated. It was all about her, even though she has no immediate crises in her life. The times I tried to interject something related that was going on with me, she brushed it off—and went back to talking about her job and her family. The more I thought about past dinners, the more I realized this is a pattern of behavior, not an isolated incident. She’s not a bad person, just inconsiderate.

Other friends, it doesn’t matter. We pick up where we left off, whether it’s been a week or a month or a year or sometimes even decades. I remember their victories and their hurts, and they remember mine. Or if we forget the specifics, we ask. We offer whatever the other needs—a listening ear, an honest opinion, a light moment, thoughtful discussion, prayer. These are the friends we’d go to war with and for, and they’d do the same for us. Sometimes, they already have.

I’d like to think that Jesus selected each of the Twelve for a specific reason, not just because they happened along at the right time or because he had a quota to fill. I’d like to think that while he loved all the disciples, the Twelve were people he felt he could go to war with. And if you take the long view, only one of them wasn’t there for him once the battle was on.


Who are the “apostles” in your life? Do something today to let them know how much you appreciate them.