Friday of the 2nd Week of the Year

Mk 3:13-19

The Mission of the Twelve


More than just giving us the names of the “12” whom Jesus chose to be his companions and to be sent out, our gospel passage reveals to us something very precious: the two crucial aspects in the life of Christians.

The passage says that Jesus appointed “12” who were: 1) to be his companions and to be sent out to preach, with power to cast out devils.

Being with Jesus as companion means being a DISCIPLE; being sent out means being his APOSTLE.

A Disciple is one who sits at the feet of a rabbi, a master, to learn of him. He does not only go to him and be with him for some hours and then go back home; no, he lives with him. The purpose of this being-with-the-rabbi is so that the disciple may imbibe the rabbi’s way of life: his ways of acting, of thinking, of judging, even of feeling. In due time, the rabbi would send his disciple out to bring, not only his presence, as it were which is to say that the disciple has become an apostle.

One does not graduate from discipleship into apostleship. One remains a disciple even as one comes to the fore as an apostle. In a way of speaking, the two are alternating moments in the life of Christ’s follower. The quality of one’s discipleship is bound to influence the quality of one’s apostleship. The more surely one has learned of Christ’s humility and gentleness, the more effectively does one bring Christ’s presence to others.

As a story would have it, the good pope John XXIII is supposed to have said that it is not enough to know, love, and serve God in this life and so be happy with Him in the next; one must also get one’s neighbor to know, love and serve God in this life so that this person may also be happy with him for all eternity. (Fr. Dong Alpuerto, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


What must have been like for the apostles to be called one by one by Jesus, to be chosen out of the thousands who followed Him?

In his immortal poem, “The Standards,” the great Fr. Horacio dela Costa, SJ, left us a summary of what it means to follow Jesus, what He expects of us and what we expect of Him who called us: ”Life is a warfare: a warfare between two standards – the Standard of Christ and the standard of Satan. It is a warfare older than the world, for it began with the revolt of the angels. It is a warfare wide as the world; it rages in every nation, every city, in the heart of every man. Satan desires all men to come under his standard and to this end lures them with riches, honors, power, all that minister to the lust and pride of man. Christ, on the contrary, invites all to fight under His Standard. But he offers no worldly allurement, only Himself, the Son of man, born an outcast, raised in poverty, rejected as a teacher, betrayed by His friend, crucified as a criminal. And therefore His followers must be ready to suffer what He suffered – poverty,

Persecution, betrayal, at times even death. But Jesus, the Son of man, is also the Son of God. Therefore His followers shall not be confounded forever, they are certain of ultimate victory; against them, the gates of Hell cannot prevail. The powers of darkness shall splinter before their splendid battalions. Battle-scarred but resplendent, they shall enter into glory with Christ, their King. Two armies, two Standards, two generals….and to every man there comes the imperious cry of command: CHOOSE, CRHIST OR SATAN? Choose! SANCTITY OR SIN? Choose! HEAVEN OR HELL? And in the choice he makes is summed up the life of every man.”

There comes a time in a missionary’s life that he must try to be worthy to be chosen again and again – for with our response comes our destiny. Respond with your apostolic smile, with your contagious joy and with your open hands. (SSpSAP Bible Diary 2005)


Korea is the fastest growing Church in the world and probably one of the most dynamic. The catholic population of the country is only about 9% and yet they are blessed with two cardinals, numerous bishops, priests, religious, seminarians and new catechumens. The Korean Church has the biggest number of adult baptisms in the world today. They have seven major seminaries, serving 14 dioceses and one abbacy.  The Korean Church as well is one of the biggest benefactors for poverty-alleviating projects worldwide.

The Korean Church is a case of a calling well answered. From very difficult beginnings started only by a small group of lay people and having undergone two major persecutions, it has grown to become a vanguard of justice and an instrument of peace and reconciliation in a land divided by ideologies. It has withstood adverse influences from a traditionally Buddhist society. Not even the blood of thousands of martyrs could weaken the faith of early Christians. Instead, the violence the Church has experienced strengthened their resolve to keep growing and spreading.

Their own history mirror the experiences the first disciples had. Like the first disciples of Jesus, early Korean Christians were chased, ostracized and killed. But also like the first disciples they remained steadfast in faith.

The calling of Jesus is both a gift and a blessing so that those who opt to answer it are endowed with powerful grace to remain in His love. The Sacrament of Baptism calls us to become Christ’s disciples. As disciples, it is our duty to keep that calling well-answered. In a world greatly influenced by secularism and industrialization it is our duty to keep the light of faith burning even if, like the first Christians, we will also be challenged to shed our own blood in the defense of the faith. (Fr. Eugene Docoy, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


When God calls He gives a mission. The call for me to become a religious missionary priest got clearer through prayers. No one encouraged me to be a priest not anybody dictated that I enter the seminary. It was on my own freewill and decision guided by constant prayer to God. A year before I was about to enter the seminary, I experienced a fateful accident that I almost cost my life. I was in the operating room when I prayed to God, “Lord, if I will die this very day, I will be happy to accept it knowing I will meet you face to face. But if you will give me another chance to live in this world, I will also be happy knowing that I will continue doing your mission. Lord, it is your choice; I entrust my life to you – in life and death, I am yours.”

After that intimate prayer with God and two operations, he chose me to live and I continue to heed his call with an undivided heart. He called me for a mission. He chose me for a reason – to preach how mighty and loving He is. (Fr. Alan G. Bondoc, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


January 22, 2016 Friday

The mission of the twelve apostles simply began with an invitation, a call. However, this was no ordinary call. The summoning of the Twelve entailed great responsibility; that is, sharing in the mission of Jesus himself! Vocare is a Latin word meaning “to call.” Each one, I believe, has a call. Sometimes, we tend to associate “calling” exclusively with a calling to religious life. In fact, a calling comes in many forms and ways. God meets us in the situation where we are, and where we are right now and what we do is our calling. What we need to do is to offer what we are doing to God and lift it up for His greater glory.

To call means to communicate. Communication involves a two-way process between a listener and a speaker; it involves dialogue. In communication, words play a vital role. However, one important thing that is sometimes taken for granted in communication is eye contact. I can imagine how the rst apostles were touched by that look in Jesus’ eyes. No matter how sinful and unworthy they were, they did not and could not resist the call. They left everything and followed Jesus. Thus, a calling begins with that amiable and amorous gaze of Jesus!

When Jesus calls, he never goes wrong. He calls the unworthy, the weak, the sinner. Those who followed him were the unqualified. In times of doubt and in an abominable situation, always remember that gaze in Jesus’ eyes. He calls all of us in so many ways. How about you, are you willing to join the march of the unqualified? Don’t dare miss and ignore that gaze. (Sem. Karl T. Cabanalan | CKMS, Quezon City Bible Diary 2016)



My Reflection: We wonder why Jesus did not call the powerful and educated to be His apostles. He instead chose to call ordinary men. The core of His apostles were fishermen and the others were like us ordinary people. Perhaps the message for all of us is this: We will hear the powerful voice of Jesus in our lives if we live simple lives.

Oftentimes we don’t anymore hear the voice of Jesus calling us to follow Him because we have very complicated lives. We are very busy with this world, we allow this world to possess us as if we could bring to our graves the riches of this world.

When we become overly preoccupied with this world we also distance ourselves from Jesus. So because of this we are not able anymore to feel and hear the voice of Jesus in our hearts. Thus we become prone to commit sin and we are easily snatched by evil temptations.

The best lifestyle for us so that we would be able to hear the voice of Jesus who always knocks in our hearts is simple lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t anymore be aspiring to improve our wellbeing. We will still aspire but in the midst of our aspirations we will remain humble and simple.

Just like the apostles who were humble and simple we too must be humble and simple so that we would be able to hear the voice of Jesus who always knocks in the doors of our hearts. (Marino J. Dasmarinas)



Reflection for January 23, Friday of the Second Week; Mark 3:13-19

Reflection: What is the relevance of the selection of the twelve apostles to you? It reminds you that you also have a mission for the propagation of the faith. You may say, I know nothing about the faith therefore I can do nothing for I know nothing.

The twelve that was chosen by Jesus know nothing also about the faith; many of them were in fact laborers and sinners. Yet they were called by Jesus to follow Him. Therefore to say that you know nothing is not an excuse because you will know if you will only try to know something about the faith.

Jesus will not fail you He will even equip you so that from knowing nothing you will now know something. And this something that Jesus will give you will soon grow if you will continue to respond to His call.

Be not afraid to respond, be not afraid to dive into the deep waters of our faith for Jesus will always be with you. Begin your mission in your family first which is your domestic church. Gently evangelize them about Jesus and about our Roman Catholic faith through your healing words and actions. – Marino J. Dasmarinas



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Reflection for January 22, Friday of the Second Week; Mark 3:13-19

Reflection: How do you deal with betrayal?

Jesus appointed the twelve to be His apostles; it means that they would be His supporter, helper, co-missioners and co-propagators of the gospel. It means also that they would stick it out with Jesus until the very end even at the cost of their life.

Unfortunately there was one who betrayed Him in exchange for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16). Betrayal is an unfortunate incident that happens to all of us, sometimes those whom we trust or even love are the very people who would betray us.

But we must learn from Jesus on how He handled Judas’ betrayal. He did not seek revenge for He knew that nothing good would come out of it. He just let it be and He continued to do His mission and let Judas deal with himself.

Eventually Judas was bothered by his conscience and had a realization he returned the money to the chief priest. Then, he went away and hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-5).

There would be those who will betray our trust even love. How should we react if say for example we pass through this betrayal? Should we get back at him/her and get even? Of course not! If we get even we are no different from the person who betrayed us.

Let us follow Jesus’ example when he dealt with Judas betrayal. – Marino J. Dasmarinas



GOSPEL – Jesus prays before the major events in His life unfold because He wants to be sure that He is working according to the Father’s will. Today He names His Apostles, those whom He will prepare for the ministry and life of the Church after He has returned to the Father. One of the twelve will betray Him. We, too, will struggle with difficult relationships and even betrayal in our work for the Gospel. This is a consequence of working with sinners, ourselves included. Let us do the best we can in our service to the Kingdom of God.



FRIDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MARCOS 3:13-19. Unsa man ang mga kalidad nga nakita sa Ginoo diha sa Iyang mga sumusunod? Ang 12 ka mga apostoles nga gipili ug gitawag ni Hesus pulos mga ordinaryong tawo. Wala silay dakong edukasyon, bahandi ug gahom nga ikapasigarbo sa katilingban. Sa ato pa, gipili sila ni Hesus dili tungod sa ilang abilidad ug katakos kondili tungod sa ilang pwedeng mahimo diha sa pagpakig-uban ug pagsunod Kaniya. Matod pa sa panultihon, “Jesus doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” Kon ang Dios magtawag kanato sa pagpangalagad, dili kita angay’ng modumili tungod lamang sa atong mga kahuyang ug kakulangon. Ang Ginoo maoy maghatag kanato’g katakos, maghimo kanatong epektibo, ug maghatag kanato’g kadasig sa pagsangyaw sa Maayong Balita pinaagi sa atong mga maayong pulong ug buhat. Posted by Abet Uy



January 22, 2016

REFLECTION: In the David-Goliath episode we read two days ago, some verses were omitted for the sake of brevity (1 S 17:34-36). In those verses we learn that as a shepherd David would attack any lion or bear which preyed on his sheep. This he did many times and every time at the risk of his life. Thus we saw that David was a man of strong character. But today’s episode shows him to be more than that. It shows him to be a man of noble character, ever respectful of the divine order of things and unwilling to seek personal revenge. Here he is, a man on the run with 3,000 first-class soldiers hunting him down. He can end it all with one single thrust of his sword into the heart of Saul, his arch-enemy. But he resists the temptation and lets Saul go scot-free. Even Saul has to bow before such greatness of heart: “You are right and I am wrong,” he admits in the end.

To forgive an enemy is not only to obey a strict commandment of Christ (Mt 5:43-48). It is also to escape the dreary cycle of hate and to emerge into greatness of soul.


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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