2nd Week in Ordinary Time, Friday

Today’s Gospel reminds us that Our Lord calls by way of invitation. He summons the Twelve, but they must respond to the summons. Today’s Gospel focuses on the call and the response of the Twelve, but the Lord extends an invitation to everyone to follow him, not because he has to, but because he wants to. Today’s Gospel says he calls those whom “he wanted.” Not every calling involves the same authority and appointment as the Twelve, but it does involve being sent into the world on Our Lord’s behalf to spread the Good News. That’s not just the mission of bishops, priests, deacons, and consecrated persons; everyone is sent on mission in accordance with their state of life, be it clergy, laity, or consecrated.

Today’s Gospel also shows that Our Lord’s invitation is based on a first hand knowledge of the one being sent. Today it seems some of the apostles receive “nicknames,” but biblically the reception of a new name also involves a transformation and a mission. Peter at that moment was a “rock” in the rough who’d one day be the rock on which Our Lord would build his Church. James and John both had a thundering personality in the Lord’s service that made them worthy of the name. These “nicknames” are probably also mentioned by Mark because the generations of Christians that followed may not have known them by any other.

What’s Our Lord inviting you to do? What name do you’d think he’d give you that summarizes the kind of apostle you’re called to be? You may not see it, but for him you are a diamond in the rough. Respond to his call, whatever it may be, and soon you’ll shine in his service, even in the circumstances of everyday life.

Readings: 1 Samuel 24:3–21; Psalm 57:2–4, 6, 11; Mark 3:13–19. See also 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday and Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles.