Fr. Mike’s Homily for Friday of 2nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II (1)

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Fr. Mike’s Homily for Friday of 2nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: The calling of the disciples

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Friday January 21 2022
Mk 3:13-19
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: [he appointed the twelve:] Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
ʺHe summoned those whom He wanted.” There are no specific criteria or qualifications for choosing them. Jesus did not choose the best or the most talented or the most attractive men, or those who are most intelligent or those who are powerful in society. He just chose those He wanted. In His inscrutable wisdom, He knows these men will be most effective in continuing His mission.
St. Paul explains it to the Corinthians: “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Cor 26-29).
God has a certain predilection towards the simple and humble persons as His human instruments. The biographies of many saints clearly illustrate this. Even in the apparitions of the Lord and the Blessed Mother, the chosen visionaries are children, unlettered and poor peasants and innocent maidens.
The lesson is clear: the initiative comes from God. As Jesus said, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain” (Jn 15:16). And He chooses not the best, but the lowly and weak, “so that no one may boast before Him.” Hence, their accomplishments are clearly not the fruits of human power and capacities, but are unmistakable manifestations of God’s providence and grace. As St. Therese of Lisieux would always say, “Everything is grace.”
The Gospel enumerates the chosen inner circle of disciples. They are called apostles. The word ‘disciple’ comes from a Latin word which means ‘to learn’. He is essentially a follower who imbibes the teaching of the teacher and tries to make it part of his life. The word ‘apostle’, on the other hand, comes from a Greek word which means, someone who is ‘sent’. He is not just a follower and learner, but he receives the mandate from the teacher to pass on to others what he has learned. In short, he is basically an extension of the teacher, and he is being sent on a mission.
Jesus appoints these twelve men to be the foundational pillars of the Church. The number twelve is intentional on the part of Jesus. This is because He wants to illustrate that the Church is the continuation and the fulfillment of the Old Covenant which is founded on the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The Church is the new People of God, the new Israel.
However, although the Church is of divine origin since Christ Himself is the Founder, it is composed of weak, limited and sinful human beings. Even the Twelve apostles, personally chosen by Jesus, have one traitor among them. The Church, after all, according to Pope Francis, “is not a museum of saints, but a hospital for sinners.”
The Philippines may be a very small country, but we are the third largest Catholic population in the world, next only to Brazil and Mexico. So much is expected of us as a nation in the task of evangelization particularly in Asia. After five centuries of Christianity in our country, we must realize that, being blessed with the gift of faith, Filipinos have the duty and the mission to be ‘apostles’ of Jesus in this part of the world. We must not remain ‘disciples’ only, but ‘apostles’, that is, disciples being sent on a mission to share the faith. In other words, we are ‘Missionary Disciples of Jesus’.
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches


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