Then Jesus went up into the hill country, and called those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed Twelve to be with him, and he called them ‘apostles’. He wanted to send them out to preach, and he gave them authority to drive out demons.
These are the Twelve: Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John his brother, to whom he gave the name Boanerges, which means ‘men of thunder’; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alpheus, Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
Discipleship is at the heart of being a Christian. It means being someone who learns from Jesus, learning to be like him in every way in the context of one’s specific vocation in life. The disciple is one who hears the call of Jesus to follow him. The idea of a call or vocation is central to the Christian belief that God has created each person with gifts oriented toward specific purposes and lifestyle. It has been associated with a divine call to serve the Church and humanity through particular vocational life commitments such as marriage, consecration as a religious, ordination to priestly ministry, and dedication to the mission as a layperson. Every Christian is called to give witness to Christ in one’s professional and family life, as well as in one’s church and civic commitments, using one’s gifts for the sake of the greater common good. In today’s Gospel, Jesus appointed a small group of disciples whom he designated as apostles for a specific purpose: to be sent as his messengers and to share in his mission and way of life. Each moment of every day, Jesus never tires of calling us, but are we listening?
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