“Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and sent them out”
Exodus 19:1-6, Psalm 100, Romans 5: 6-11, Matthew 9:36 – 10:8
We often hear of the twelve apostles. Apostle means one who is sent on a special mission to do a special job. Jesus hand picked the apostles and spent time teaching them about the kingdom of heaven, equipping them for a special mission.
According to Study.com, an apostle is a “messenger” or “one who is sent”, while a disciple is a “student” or “learner.” Apostles were primarily people who had met and followed Jesus during his life and were called by him to spread the gospel. Disciples were simply any of Jesus’ followers who devoted themselves to learning from him.
In this week’s Gospel the words ‘apostle’ and ‘disciple’ are at times used interchangeably, but invariably both words refer to Jesus’ followers. The group of disciples Jesus chose to surround himself with and prepare for this missionary activity included fishermen, a tax collector and a zealot (fanatic), – only Judas Iscariot, who would later betray Jesus to the Jewish authorities, was well educated. It is assumed that the ‘twelve’ relate to the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus looked with immense compassion upon those who flocked to listen to him and receive healing in their lives – so much so that he reached out to his apostles to teach them in ministry and appoint others to help him carry on the work.
It is reassuring to know that so many amazing people continue Jesus’ mission in our world today, bringing the Kingdom of God on earth. We pray for our Pope, Bishops, priests and religious everywhere and thank them for their example and energy.
Markelle Ward – DRS Garin College
Adapted from www.liturgycentre.auckland