The calling of the apostles is the focus of today’s Gospel. The Twelve chosen by Jesus did not present their qualifications before Him. It was Jesus who initiated the calling. Despite their unfaithful pasts, He led them to His arms and gave them authority to lead. This is a beautiful message for those called by the Lord—“He does not call the qualified, but He qualifies those He called.”
Who am I before the Lord? I am nothing. I know that I am not worthy to shepherd God’s people. Behind my identity as a seminarian is a history of unfaithfulness, brokenness, failures, and uncertainties. I remember the time when I got accepted into the seminary formation, I had mixed emotions. I was enveloped with fears and doubts. I even questioned my readiness to respond to the calling of Jesus. But these fears also impelled me to trust more in the grace of God. I learned that God does not look for perfection but determination and purity of heart. Yes, it is not easy to respond but it is more difficult to deny and reject this calling. Joy to suffer with Christ is incomparable to the temporary happiness the world can give.
If we truly want to follow Christ, are we ready to surrender all our fears and doubts, and our possessions—our whole self? It is Jesus who calls.
Do not doubt! Be courageous and remain faithful! These are the challenges that the Gospel brings me in order to become a true witness of Christ in the world. As a priest-in-process, there will be times that my faith will be tested and I may feel uncertain with my calling. But I know for sure God cradles me in his love. A proof is that I am still here in the seminary. God continues to assure me, He is with me in this journey!
By: Sem. Bryan S. Valenzuela
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.