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The mission of the Twelve

Gospel Reading: 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.


Jesus spent the night in prayer to God. Before He makes the final choice of His disciples, Jesus does something which Luke often mentions in His gospel: He prays. Jesus consults His Father about His choices. And now before He names the Twelve, Jesus spends the night in prayer to God.

That is also the way we must act. We must not act on the spur of the moment or let our feelings rule us. We must ask God, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” For what matters is not what we want to do but what God wants us to do.

The College of Cardinals go into prayer before they elect the Pope. Members of religious congregations and lay communities pray before they choose their leaders. We should pray earnestly before deciding on what vocation to pursue or what job to take, before making business decisions and even before choosing where to go on vacation. As Italian poet Dante Alighieri says, “In God’s will is our peace.”

Make it a habit to pray before making decisions big and small.