Today's Gospel: Mark 3:13-19 In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus calls and appoints twelve Apostles. Their calling is threefold: to be with Him, to preach, and to drive out demons. When I think of myself as a follower of Christ, my initial thought is not of driving out demons, though doing good and rejecting evil is certainly part of a well-lived Christian life. Rather, I first think of my responsibility to proclaim His word, by what I do as well as by what I say. When I am able to quiet the noise of the world around me, I can recognize that He also wants me to just be with Him—in prayer, in adoration, at Mass, in all things. But this is only one line in the passage. Much more ink is given to the list that identifies the Apostles. When I’ve read this section in the past, I’ve sometimes wondered what I could make of a list of names. Where’s the wisdom in there? The lesson? The message? Perhaps it is in the names themselves, the fact that Jesus called each of these followers personally, individually. He called them by name, and His calling is the reason their names endure. Not for their glory, but for His. What they—what we—do for Christ is important, but what’s more important is what Christ does for us. He knows us. He loves us. He calls us. He forgives. He shows mercy. He invites us into a personal relationship with Him. Short and sweet, today’s reading gets right to the point: Jesus Christ is calling you by name. How will you respond?


What does it mean to you to be called by name? How do you identify yourself—and do you think Christ sees you the same way?


Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for calling me by name to follow You. Help me to use my unique gifts, my individual strengths and weaknesses, and whatever comes my way to glorify You today.
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