Tuesday of the 23rd Week of the Year

Luke 6:12-19

The Mission of the Twelve


Jesus took the whole night to pray. The day ahead was an important day – the naming of the apostles. The day was full – a large crowd was waiting, everyone wanted to touch Jesus.

Just when we cannot wait to start with the day’s work, just when we are sure that the whole day would not be enough for the work to be done, just when we seem to have no time to pray, then we are most encouraged to sit and be silent, and to wait for God, the Lord of the Harvest. (Sr. Rosario Tayson, SSpS Bible Diary 2002)


In today’s gospel Jesus chose twelve among his disciples to make them his closer companions. Before doing that Jesus was in prayer the whole night. Why is that Jesus, the son of God should spend the whole night in prayer? This is to show us that prayer is very important in our relationship with God. If Jesus himself needed so much time to be in touch with God, so how much more do we?

It is very important to note that Jesus always prayed before doing anything of great importance: before the multiplication of bread (Luke 9:16) for example. This is an indication to us that Jesus wanted to do everything not by his own but to fulfil the will of God. In other words all the miracles and great works he did should be attributed to the One he prayed to, His Father.

For what and for whom did Jesus pray? Today Jesus prayed for his disciples. He prayed for those who will continue his mission that they remain faithful to Him.

After His prayer Jesus called the apostles by name. And the role of the Apostles was not to attract people to themselves rather it was to direct others toward the One who sent them. The apostles came to Him as they were with all their past, personalities and freedom. That’s why despite the training and teachings he gave them over almost three years, one of them still freely betrayed Him.

Today’s gospel message is that God calls each one of us by name; he does not force our response our hinder our freedom. And as Christians we have also the obligation to pray as Jesus did for those who perform the different ministries of the Church of Christ – the Pope, the bishops, the priests, the religious and other lay ministers. (Fr. Willibrord Kamion, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Jesus “touches” us in three different ways. First is physically. For instance, in the gospel he physically touched the blind and the dead young to heal and restore life. He imparted blessings to children by physically imposing His hands on them. He wanted to touch and be touched, as He could lead people to God. St. Thomas, after touching Him, proclaimed, “My Lord, and my God!”

The second way Jesus touches people is through the use of other senses outside the tactile way. Thus, through hearing and seeing. Jesus inspired His followers to respond in faith, change their lives and love God. Just hearing His word of invitation, for instance, His disciples left everything and followed Him. Listening to an unknown visitor, who was actually the risen Lord, the two disciples going to Emmaus declared, “Were not our hearts burning as he talked to us on the road?” St. John the Evangelist, contemplating on Christmas would write in his gospel, “The Word became flesh…and we have seen his glory.”

The third way Jesus touches our hearts is through a direct way. Suddenly we experience peace and well-being in our hearts, after encountering truth or after a deed well done, like forgiving someone or making a decision according to God’s will or after experiencing a good we do not deserve.

As we earnestly desire to touch our Lord, let us not forget that Jesus became a man, so that we could touch Him and be touched by His healing and saving power. He is still with us today, “Know that I am always with you,” especially in the celebration of the sacraments, where he completely touched us. (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


Among the miracles of Jesus, physical transformation and exorcisms stand out. The last verses of the gospel encapsulate probably a daily grind for Jesus –touching sick people and they get healed. The preceding verses, however, is also a description of another miracle, albeit of a different kind – His choosing of the twelve apostles.

Bringing together persons of diverse characteristics, in many instances even “irrevocable”, is not only short of a miracle but a miracle per se. Take Matthew and Simon the Zealot: Matthew is a former ally of the Roman colonizers because he collected taxes for them, therefore a traitor, while Simon belongs to the Zealot party, a rebel group of fanatical nationalists who swear to slit the throat of traitors and every Roman that comes their way. Take Peter and Thomas: Peter, always the impulsive one, the aggressive type, who acts before he thinks while Thomas is the observant one, almost sceptical, the person who wants to see before believing. That these and the rest stayed together even from the extreme ends of the character spectrum is one of the great miracles of Christ.

Differences cannot be avoided. Christ presents himself as the bridge to join not to cancel these differences. It makes a miraculous difference if husbands and wives, families, lay and religious communities would once again put Christ in the center of their union. (Frt. Jonathan a Letada, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


The first group of co-workers Jesus chose to establish has become the largest church on earth where were simple fishermen who could not even write or read. So it is possible that these professional fishermen used standard fishing tactics in their fishing of souls. We must remember that the Holy Spirit does not just work miracles; he usually works with the natural talents each of us has.

The first tactic is patience. Wait, wait and wait ‘til the fish is ready. Fish cannot be hurried; it bites only if and when it wants to. The same with evangelization. No matter how often you preach, you have no way of knowing what is happening in people’s souls. But you have to keep on. Patience will have its rewards, of not here, in the hereafter.

The second tactic is courage against the wind, rain and rough seas. Evangelizers often get rough treatment. They are laughed at, unwelcome because their message is spoiling the fun, the popular, the ‘in” lifestyle.

The third tactic is to know where the fish are biting and when they are biting. Is it during full moon, high tide, low tide or during rain? The gospel must be preached at the right time and place. It is nonsense for example to preach in a beer house or a pub. However, when a person or a family is in mourning, the consolation of religion may be a soothing medicine.

Fourth is to use the correct bait. Preaching hellfire and brimstone may drive people away. Jesus used stories as his main method. Informal chatting about religious topics helps, instead of the very formal, stuffy environment of a classroom or church. Or simply listening is a good bait for people who are searching and seeking for God.

Fifth, if the fish see the fishermen, they will not bite. A true evangelist does not use theatrics. His appearance must not distract people from the message. His is not to draw people to himself but to Christ.

Before choosing his twelve apostles, Jesus departed to the mountain to spend the night in prayer to God. That mountain must have been overlooking the sea! (Bible Diary 2007)


As a young boy, I noticed my grandmother exposing batteries taken out of flashlights and transistor radios under the sun. I asked her, “Are they wet?” “No!” she replied. “But why do you put them under the sun?” I asked again. “I placed them under the sun because they are already weak. The heat of the sun will restore their power.” Trying it myself, she was correct. Old and weak batteries when exposed under the sun for sometime will regain power to run flashlights or transistor radios. The same is true with life of prayer.

Jesus prayed frequently, spending hours and hours often in a deserted place, a mountain. It was His source of power. From the source, He was able to make big decisions like choosing His twelve apostles; from the source too, many who touched Him got healed. What is there in Jesus’ prayer? I believe that in prayer Jesus encountered His all-powerful Father. In prayer, the Father shared His power to Jesus. Prayer, therefore, is more than an activity of words and actions. Essentially, prayer is the means of encounter the Father. Consequently, prayer functions like a channel through which the Father shares His power to those who truly pray.

If in prayer we see a way out of a complicated problem; if in prayer our life’s burdens become lighter to carry;  if in prayer we are consoled in our sorrows and pains; if in prayer we desire to move on despite challenges, then certainly, we have encountered the Father and have been given a share in His divine power. That which we cannot do but were able to do with the aid of prayer speaks of a loving Father who is at work in our lives in the same way as He worked in the life of Jesus. (Fr. Fred Saniel, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


September 6, 2016 Tuesday

“PRAY FOR ME”, were the rst words of Pope Francis after his election to the papacy. From then on, everywhere the Pope went, he asked for prayer. Before and after his visit to the Philippines in 2014, the people recited the “Prayer for Pope Francis” in response to the Pontiff ’s request for the faithful to pray for him.

In the gospel today, we see Jesus spending the night in prayer to God. The following day, Jesus gathered His followers as acommunity of disciples. After choosing the twelve apostles, He began His ministry. Clearly, Jesus did the will of the Father by spending a lot time in prayer, by forming a community, and by doing His ministry. Pope Francis learned from Jesus Himself.

Like Jesus, we also need to spend time alone with God in prayer, to hear God’s voice in the silence of our hearts. When we listen to God in prayer, we nd inspiration and guidance in dealing with life’s ups and downs. Like Jesus, we also need a community to help and support us, to encourage and to strengthen us. In a community, we learn to work with a team. Surely, we can work alone and be like Lone Ranger. But to do the ministry entrusted to us by God, we need prayer and community.

Read the gospel. Spend moments of silence with God in prayer. Remember the people in your community. Reflect on the work that God has entrusted to you.

The concluding prayer of the “Prayer for Pope Francis” summarizes the need for prayer and community so we can perform our ministry: “Lord Good Shepherd, bless and protect Pope Francis. Safeguard the church from all harm. Guide us in the path of faith and charity. Amen.” (Fr. Jose Honorio P. Mateo, SVD Paraguay, South America Bible Diary 2016)



JESUS PRAYED (Lk 6:12-19): If there was any man who walked here on earth who did not need to pray, it was Jesus. Jesus did not have to pray because He is God and man. Jesus did not need to pray because He was always in communion with God and He is God Himself.

Yet the gospel for today opened with a very striking paradox. That Jesus, the God-man who did not have to pray was said to have gone to the mountain and prayed, spending the night in communion with God.

Jesus, who did not have to pray, prayed. And yet the opposite is true with us. We all need to pray but we do not pray. When we get too busy, the first activity we drop from our schedule is attending the Mass. When we have a headache, the first item we erase from our regular duties is our rosary or Bible reading. When we have problem at home or in the office, the first thing we say is, “I will just pray tomorrow.”

How different is our attitude from that of the Lord. The Lord who never needed to pray, who never had to pray, prayed. While we who still need to pray find a lot of excuses and reasons not to pray. Sometimes we even convince ourselves that we do not have to pray for we might “overshoot” heaven. How can that happen? Can we really love excessively? I don’t think this is ever possible. We can never be excessive in our love.

We all need to pray. During this Mass, we will ask God to rekindle in our hearts that zeal for prayer. In spite of the many excuses, in spite of the many reasons we have in our mind on why we need not pray, let us beg the Lord to overcome all these.

For the zeal, for the generosity to pray, let us ask the Lord to rekindle our hearts. (Socrates Villegas, Only Jesus Always Jesus, p. 224)


We hear today the version of Luke on Jesus’ call of the Twelve. Several things are highlighted in the narrative:

  • Jesus prayed. His prayer before the choice of the Twelve is not just a perfunctory “opening prayer.” We are accustomed to begin all that we do with such – an “opening prayer” and a “closing prayer.” His prayer was a sincere lifting up of all that was in his mind, heart, and soul as he began the process of discerning the choice of the Twelve. He prayed, “spending the night in communion with God.” At daybreak, he called the disciples, and he made his choice of the Twelve. Jesus prayed through the night, and he waited for daybreak. These are not just indications of chronological time. Night is symbolic of desolation, while daybreak is a reminder of the action of God who brought about the separation of darkness and light, thus ending the chaos of the universe at the beginning of time. To really pray, sincerely lifting up what is within, involves also patient waiting for God. Prayer is really making God act, sans our manipulations.
  • Jesus called the disciples and selected twelve of them to be his apostles. God’s grace and calling builds on what we have gone through. Not from the crowds did Jesus elect apostles, but from the more-or-else experienced disciples. Although the election to be a Pope is canonically possible for all, since according to canon law anyone among the faithful can be a Pope, it is mostly from the ranks of bishops and cardinals that the Pope is elected. Why? God’s grace and calling usually involves responsibility – great responsibility. God does not wish to “burn” persons who are young for such a responsibility. Entrusting a responsibility to a neophyte, a newcomer, an aspirant may “burn” his dreams, his ideals, his wings!
  • Jesus chose as part of the Twelve, Judas Iscariot who turned traitor. God’s grace does not cancel out our human freedom – to respond and correspond. God’s grace disposes, invites, empowers. We have to make our assent, and flow with the grace.
  • Even as Jesus discerned overnight and prayed, one choice – Judas – turned out to be a bad disciple. Yes we can never really fathom the depth of persons. In the end, after all our knowledge of a person, a person remains to be a mystery. Every friendship, every relationship, is an opening up to vulnerability.
  • Jesus cured people and power went out from him. Service is always a gift not just of actions, but a gift of self. We have not really served if we do not feel a certain drain, a certain experience of burning out, a degree of dying to self. (Fr. Domie VGuzmanSSP New Every Morning New Everyday pp. 272-273).


V. 12: PRAYER is a relational activity with God that harvests present and future benefits. PRAYER is a







Pray and be closed to God, to others and our reserved place (Fr. Ching OP).


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – LUKAS 6:12-19. NGANONG KINAHANGLAN KITANG MOTABANG SA MGA APOSTOLADO SA SIMBAHAN? Diha sa ebanghelyo atong nasayran nga wala luwasa ni Hesus ang kalibotan nga nag-inusara; nagdapit siya’g mga tawo nga motabang sa iyang buhat sa pagpangalagad ug pagpangluwas. Dili lang mga apostoles kondili kitang tanang mga sumusunod ni Kristo ang gidapit sa pagdala sa iyang presensya ug sa pagpadayon sa iyang misyon dinhi sa kalibotan. Daghan kanato igo lang mosimba og Domingo ug mohatag og donasyon sa Simbahan. Bisan tuod importante kini, dili pa kini igo. Ang tinuod nga Kristiyano motabang sa mga apostolado diha sa Simbahan – para sa pamilya, kabatan-onan, biblia, katesismo, social action, ug uban pa. Adunay nag-ingon: “Ministry is not a job or a Sunday routine, it’s a privilege to be chosen and used by Jesus.” Posted by Abet Uy



Sunday, September 4, 2016

Reflection for Tuesday September 6, Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 6:12-19

Reflection: Why did Jesus called the twelve to be His apostles?

There was a reason why Jesus called the twelve disciples to be His apostles and that is to help Him spread the good news of our salvation. Looking back on the lives of these apostles except for Judas all were faithful servants of the Lord. They were His eyes and ears they were His collaborators in His mission.

The apostles did not lead lives of ease and comfort in fact except for Judas almost all of them were martyred in doing the mission that Jesus bestowed upon them. What is the significance of this call on the apostles in our lives?

By virtue of our Baptism we too are called to collaborate with Jesus and the apostles to spread the good news of our salvation. We are called to lead Holy lives so that others may see Jesus in us; we are called to be patient, to persevere and to be enduring in our discipleship.

If we say that we love Jesus it amounts to saying that we are always ready to suffer and to be humiliated for the sake of the advancement of His kingdom. This is the mark of a true and faithful disciple/apostle.

Are you ready to suffer for Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas



THE SECRET TO DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE – Jesus departed to the mountain to pray and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. – Luke 6:12

Choosing the twelve disciples. Walking on water. Healing those who touched Him. The transfiguration. The crucifixion. What took place before these powerful events? Jesus spent the whole night on the mountain to pray.

Sometimes when I get so busy, my prayer time is the one that suffers. My priorities get mixed up and I end up forgetting to do the very thing that will give me the ability to do the impossible. Then I remember that Jesus always made time for prayer. The harder the task He had to do, the more time He spent in prayer. Even if He is the Son of God, He always made time to pray to draw strength and power, not from Himself, but from His Father.

When my daughter was about to take her college entrance exams, she studied well for it. When she was saturated with studying, she prayed and went to Mass every day, trusting in God’s mercy to help her. When the results of the Ateneo exams came out, she was in the top 40 out of the 19,000 applicants, which qualified her for a full scholarship in any course she wanted!

You may not be able to walk on the water as Jesus did, but you can do what seems impossible if only you spend more time on your knees praying. Ronna Singson-Ledesma (ronna_ledesma@yahoo.com.ph)

Reflection: “A man is powerful on his knees.” (Corrie ten Boom) Abba Father, forgive me for those times I was too busy to even get down on my knees…



OF JUSTICE AND LOVE – Paul in today’s First Reading delivers a scathing criticism to his community in Corinth. He is angry. After hearing that the Christian brothers were suing one another in public courts, Paul was scandalized that the brothers turn immediately to legal means instead of settling disputes in the spirit of charity.

In Greece of Paul’s time, court hearings were held in public. Hurling at one another in court undoubtedly compromises the Christian community that is supposed to be a community ruled by charity.

There is really nothing wrong with a community ruled by justice, but it will be terribly wanting. As a principle, we know that justice is the minimum of love. But love is the perfection of justice. And if the Christian community is called to perfection, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), then charity must be the first option for conflict resolution. Charity should be the primary way for believers: “If you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? (v.4-5). For Paul, immediate resolve through legal means is an indication of an unwillingness to practice the virtues: understanding, forgiveness, patience and sacrifice for the sake of the other. The Christian community is supposed to be “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (see 1 Peter 2:9). Conflict resolution therefore must be marked by sanctity, which is the mark of a believing community.

Justice is founded on arithmetic equality. But certain situations demand going beyond the strict requirements of justice. When a mother distributes food among her children, for example, justice demands that everybody gets the same. But when one of the children is frail, doesn’t he usually get the better portion? On the outside it seems unfair, but really it isn’t. When love permeates justice, arithmetic equality becomes proportionate equality. In such a situation, love has just perfected justice.Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you quick to resort to justice? Have you ever considered trying the difficult but sanctifying demands of love?

You have created us out of love, O Lord. Help us to live by the same love. Amen.



Tuesday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

Tuesday, September 6

1 Cor 6: 1-11; Lk 6:12-19

Discipleship for Continuing the Mission of Jesus

During the last two decades there has been a mushrooming of god men and women in our country and many of them have large number of followers. People are attracted to them because of their oratorical skills or the miracles they perform or the promises they make or  the consolation or temporary relief people get from following some of the techniques devised by these ‘gurus’. People become devotees of these god men and women. Large majority of the people approach the god men and women mainly to find solutions to their problems. Very few of these god men and women have got a vision for life and for the society and a mission to bring about changes in the society.

People also approached Jesus mainly to get healed. But Jesus from the very beginning of his public life had made amply clear that he had a vision and mission which he expressed in his call to the people, “ Repent and be converted because the Kingdom of God is at hand.”The miracles and healing were only a means to drive home his message to the people. Many people were influenced by his preaching which contained his vision and mission. That is why read in the Gospels about ‘large number of disciples’. Today’s Gospel speaks about Jesus selecting twelve disciples, who are known as apostles, after spending the whole night in prayer. Jesus chose them not to become his admirers and sing his praises day and night. The Gospel of St. Mark clearly mentions that he chose them to be with him and to be sent out to continue his mission. The purpose of being with Jesus is to understand his vision and mission and to imbibe his values and principles so that the disciples become fully equipped to continue his mission. Just after the selection of the 12 disciples Jesus goes along with them to meet a large crowd waiting to hear him and to be healed. In fact, it was a practical exposure to the apostles what they are expected do in future.

According to the Gospels discipleship is basically to continue the mission of Jesus i.e. brining about transformation in the individuals and in the society in view of ushering in God’s reign. But this requires in-depth understanding of Jesus’ vision, mission, values and principles through study, reflection and contemplation. Hence action- reflection -action is the dynamic process a radical disciple of Jesus has to adopt. I do not think that Jesus wants his disciples to sit before him and sing his praises day night. It could be escapism from facing the hard realities of life under the guise of spirituality- a kind of pseudo spirituality. Fr. Jacob Peenikaprambil CMI



September 6, 2016

REFLECTION: “At this time, Jesus went out into the hills to pray, spending the whole night in prayer with God.” The evangelist Luke regularly presents Jesus praying at important moments of his ministry (Lk 3:21; 6:12; 9:18, 28; 11:1; 22:32, 41; 23:46), eight times in all. This practice of Jesus should set us thinking. If he, “true God from true God,” in the words of the Creed, feels the need to pray, do we not have a much greater need than he?

The topic of prayer is always a source of uneasiness for most of us. Why? Because our conscience tells us that we do not pray enough. Why not? Because, we answer, we cannot find the time to pray, due to our busy schedule.

Such an answer betrays a wrong approach to prayer. If we wait to be able to find the time to pray, we will rarely or never pray, because too many things will crowd prayer out of our lives. The right approach to prayer is something like this: “I will make time for prayer and give it the top priority of my day.” An iron determination of this sort should inspire us.



Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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