Daily Gospel Reflection – Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
January 21, 2022
Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
Gospel: Mc 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.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today’s Gospel recounts Jesus selecting and appointing the Apostles.
Bible scholar and theologian N.T. Wright has explained why Jesus commissioned twelve disciples as Apostles. Wright tells us that when a first-century Jew spoke of the arrival of God’s kingdom, he was taken to mean something very specific. He was announcing that the temple was going to be restored, that the proper worship of Yahweh would obtain, that the enemies of Israel would be dealt with, and that, above all, the tribes of the Lord would be gathered, and through them, the tribes of the world.
Recall the great vision from the second chapter of Isaiah: "The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain . . . All nations shall stream toward it." This is why Jesus chose twelve disciples, evocative of the twelve tribes. They would be the prototype and the catalyst for the gathering of Israel and hence the gathering of everyone. They would be the fundamental community and sign of unity.