As I sat in Mass listening to the priest recite the Gospel according to Luke (Luke 6:12-19), my ears heard the words differently than ever before.
The message of the Gospel: Jesus chose Twelve. Twelve. Out of all of His followers, he chose only Twelve. What did it take to become one of the Twelve? I wonder what Jesus' prayer on the mountain the night before was like. Was the decision difficult to make or was the deliberation brief because the soon to be Twelve Apostles were an obvious choice? What criteria did Jesus use in order to solidify his decision?
Then, all of a sudden, my heart started to pound and I saw RED. A bit of panic came over me as I placed myself inside the Gospel story. Imagining myself among the other disciples, standing there quietly while waiting for the selections of the Twelve to escape the lips of the Son of God, I looked around at those beside me and suddenly realized the gravity of each decision I make, each action I take, and each word I speak. Jesus was choosing his core group of followers, He was choosing people He thought best to carry out His works. My mind ferociously scanned back to my own life and I couldn't help but ask myself, "Am I living in such a way that Jesus would have chosen me? Would I have made the cut?"
Certainly, there were many disciples not among the Twelve Apostles who accomplished incredible works in the name of the Lord. Good works were not exclusive to the Twelve, but we know the Apostles did serve a very intimate, integral role as Jesus' closest friends and followers. To have been selected was an unparalleled honor. Additionally, Jesus gave us a glimpse of His incredible love and mercy by including Judas Iscariot among the Twelve. Even though Judas would later betray Jesus I don't think we can argue the Twelve were a very special, hand-picked group of followers.
What would it have been like to have been one of the Twelve?
Maybe the Apostles were grateful and excited, but also nervous about the path the Lord had chosen for them. Did the other disciples react in disappointment because they were not chosen among the Twelve, or was there a feeling of relief because the road laid out before Christ's Apostles would certainly be difficult?
Just to be chosen was a sacrifice. Becoming an Apostle would prove to be a heavy cross to carry. Being chosen was just the beginning.
The Christian life isn't easy, but the reward is divine.
Do you live your life to be "chosen" or do you live your life to simply get by?
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