Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12
The Eternal All-Holy God created humankind in holiness, but the first man chose to be independent of God. Evil multiplied with murder wholesale and retail.
God began to help humankind back by calling special people to lead. That is why we have Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist. God would work through humans. For that reason the Son of God became man. For that reason Jesus came as truly human. For that reason Jesus chose the 12 in today’s gospel.
What happened in the past is happening now. God chooses other human beings to continue his work. He chose a Mother Teresa for Calcutta. He chose a Fr. Rick Frechette for Haiti. He chooses thousands and thousands to do his work,
Jesus wipes out the sinful independence of Adam, but he seeks other apostles today to continue his work of salvation. Vatican II makes that clear: all peoples’ right and duty to be apostles derives from their union with Christ their head.
"On all Christians rests the obligation to bring all people the whole world over to hear and accept the divine message of salvation. That is the essential work of Christ’s redemption." It is shared by Pope Benedict XVI, by the last priest ordained, but just as truly by every adult baptized into Christ – cooks, bakers, teachers, mechanics, computer operators.
And as apostles, we are concerned not only with churchy activities but in everything we do, to make this a safer, more beautiful world to live in. The mission of the Church is not only to bring people the message and grace of God, but to improve the world in which we live.
The great Apostle Paul did God’s work in his preaching and writing, but by using his skill to weave tough tent cloth he supported himself and his companions. That too was an apostolic labor!
To be an apostle means to do all for and in Christ. Some do it today on special missions to disaster areas, others keep their families together in the faith that is Christ’s work. All of this is done by 21st century apostles.
Fr. Fred Sucher, C.P. is retired and lives in the Passionist community in Chicago. For many years he taught philosophy to Passionist seminarians.