Daily Gospel Reflection – Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
September 12, 2023
Tuesday of the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 6:12-19
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.
*United States Conference of Catholic
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—and through them, the tribes of the world—would be gathered.
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.