Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 8:6-13; Mark 3:13-19)

Some have tried to provoke an argument by saying that Jesus did not found the Church.  They propose Paul as the more logical founder.  Of course, Jesus did not create the orders of bishops and priests.  And he certainly never established the Roman bureaucracy.  But the four gospels do indicate that he had an organizational structure in mind.  Today’s gospel pictures him acting quite intentionally to build a basis for his mission of preaching.

The passage notes that Jesus climbs a mountain evidently alone.  There, like the President-elect selecting his cabinet, he calls up twelve disciples to join him.  These are to become not just an inner group of advisors but are to prepare themselves to go out and preach.  The twelve are named in order of prominence.  Peter with a gift for proclamation is the first mentioned.  Second, James and John, who also are recognized for their locutions, are noted.  Then the others are named.  The last, of course, is Judas Iscariot, who does not lack ability but who will do the mission irreparable harm.

Perhaps the people who want to sell Jesus short on an organizational plan have difficulty appreciating how capable he is.  They see him with limitations like the rest of us.  But the four gospels indicate that he is a man like no other.  He does everything well – preach, organize, give of himself freely.  We are grateful to have been called to be his followers.