He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Then he went home.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s Gospel celebrates an “inauguration.” The Twelve are called by name, designated Apostles, and sent on a mission to proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ mission focused on outcasts, the “other”—the leper prohibited from entering town, the woman charged with adultery, those considered “sinners.”
On January 20 the United States celebrates its Inauguration Day as a new administration takes the oath of office. For many, however,––those fearful of losing medical coverage, those whose family members are potentially subject to deportation, and those subject to being stigmatized for their religious beliefs––this Inauguration Day is cloaked in trepidation.
Like the Apostles, we too are called by name and “sent on a mission.” What is our mission this dual Inauguration Day? Shall our mission include reaching out to the “other” in our midst, and sharing our time, talents, and treasure with the poor, the fearful, the marginalized?
―George P. Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, Chicago Chapter. He and his wife, Dorothy Turek, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and four grandchildren.
“Are we missionaries by our words, and especially by our Christian life, by our witness? Or are we Christians closed in our hearts and in our churches, sacristy Christians? Are we Christians in name only, who live like pagans? We must ask ourselves these questions, which are not a rebuke. I ask myself as well: what kind of Christian am I, is my witness true?”
Can I respond “Yes”? Is my witness true? How am I more than a “sacristy Christian”?