Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (3: 13-19) in which Jesus went up on a mountainside and summoned those he wanted so they came to him and he appointed twelve.Fr Paul notes that the names of the Twelve vary in different accounts of the Gospels. For example, in the Gospel of John there is no mention of Bartholomew, whereas in the synoptic Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke there is no mention of Nathanael. The important point is the number, which is always twelve. After the betrayal of Judas, it is made up again to twelve by the addition of Matthias (Acts 1.15-26). They represent the twelve tribes of Israel, which shows a consciousness that they form the new Israel of Jesus, the new People of God. As we are told in today’s Gospel, the Disciples are chosen for two purposes, the first is ‘to be with him’ and the second is to go out and proclaim. They are made Jesus’ own also by his imposition of names. It is normal that only a father imposes a name, just as Zechariah names his son John (Luke 1:63), and God in Genesis (17:5) imposes a new name on Abraham to signify his adoption of Abraham. So, Jesus in Matthew imposes a new name on Simon, calling him ‘Peter’ or ‘Rock’. In closing, Fr Pauls shares today’s Gospel Lesson: We are called to do the same two things as the disciples; firstly, to take time to just be with Jesus and, secondly, to go out and proclaim our faith.
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