Today is the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude. The gospel passage (Luke 6:12-19) gives us an account of the calling of the apostles. Luke tells us that Jesus called together the disciples and from them he chose the apostles, who are named.
Now this version of the calling of the apostles is not the same as we find in the other gospels but it is interesting nonetheless. The gospels of Matthew and Mark show the disciples abandoning their work and following Jesus while John’s gospel indicates that they sought out Jesus first. Regardless, the variations are less important than the final outcome.
If we look at Luke’s version, I wonder what the reaction of the apostles was when Jesus singled them out from the crowd. Did they immediately respond favourably or did they remonstrate by expressing their unsuitability or lack of credentials? Were there others who declined the invitation? In the unlikely event of this, there is no record of them!
But just imagine if Jesus picked each of us out of a crowd in today’s situation, how would we react? The reality is that he has! In John 15:16, we read, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” (RSV)
Go out and bear fruit? Now that is something worth considering! What sort of fruit are we expected to bear? Clearly it is of a spiritual form, not literal. And each of us is called to bear different fruit since we are all given different gifts of the spirit or talents. What is important is that others must benefit because that is what fruit does. It nourishes and refreshes.
Perhaps the challenge for the day is to find someone who clearly needs (and wants) to be nourished and then, subtly, bring them closer to God. Certainly, our example may be the greatest influence on them. Maybe the challenge is simply to reflect on what we are being called to do right now. There will be a lot of spiritual healing needed as we emerge from the effects of the Covod-19 pandemic. How can we be a positive force in this process?
Have a wonderful day.
God bless and stay safe. Dc Mike & the team.