Today in the Gospel (Mk 6:7-13) Jesus summons the Twelve and sends them out. He gathers them and then scatters them, two-by-two. This is not the first time Jesus has gathered them. Earlier in Mark, Jesus “went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach,” (Mk 3:13-14). So, Jesus draws followers to himself. He picks and names the twelve “whom he wanted.” He chooses them, and they stay with him. In John's Gospel, some ask Jesus “where are you staying?” And He invites, “Come and see.” Later on, Jesus reminds them, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you!”
What occurs with oxygen on the natural plane of the human body, occurs with grace on the supernatural plane of the human soul. These twelve soak up the grace of his divine presence. They learn from him. They are “oxygenated” by his presence, by his message, by his teaching with authority. This new spiritual life in which they share, begins and is strengthened by his initiative.
A similar dynamic occurs at each and every Holy Eucharist. We gather from all around, from many different paths and places. We might be tired and low from a long week, “old blood,” as it were. At God's invitation, we come together around the altar of God. We are summoned to be with him, to draw close to him, to receive the grace of his presence. And together, Head and members offer the one fitting sacrifice of praise. In the process we are filled with divine life. We are filled with the presence of Christ Jesus himself. And deacon dismisses us, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord!” Or, “Go forth, the Mass is ended!” Or, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord with your life!” With the final blessing, we are commissioned to spread the Gospel, to give testimony, to be the presence of Jesus in the world.
Intercede for us, dear Mother, in obtaining pardon for our sins. love for Jesus, final perseverance and the grace always to call upon you, Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen
- Advent - four weeks of preparation before the celebration of Jesus' birth
- Christmas - recalling the Nativity of Jesus Christ and his manifestation to the peoples of the world
- Lent - a six-week period of penance before Easter
- Sacred Paschal Triduum - the holiest "Three Days" of the Church's year, where the Christian people recall the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus
- Easter - 50 days of joyful celebration of the Lord's resurrection from the dead and his sending forth of the Holy Spirit
- Ordinary Time - divided into two sections (one span of 4-8 weeks after Christmas Time and another lasting about six months after Easter Time), wherein the faithful consider the fullness of Jesus' teachings and works among his people
The mystery of Christ, unfolded through the cycle of the year, calls us to live his mystery in our own lives. This call is best illustrated in the lives of Mary and the Saints, celebrated by the Church throughout the year. There is no tension between the mystery of Christ and the celebration of the saints, but rather a marvelous harmony. The Blessed Virgin Mary is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son, and the feasts of all the Saints proclaim the wonderful works of Christ in his servants and offer the faithful fitting examples for their imitation.In the feasts of the Saints the Paschal Mystery of Christ is proclaimed and renewed.