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From: Matthew 10:1-7

The Calling and First Mission of the Apostles


[1] And He (Jesus) called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority
over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infir-
mity. [2] The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called
Peter, and Andrew, his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
[3] Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the
son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; [4] Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot,
who betrayed Him.

[5] These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gen-
tiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, [6] but go rather to the lost sheep of
the house of Israel. [7] And preach as you go, saying, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven
is at hand.’”

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Commentary:

1-4. Jesus calls His twelve Apostles after recommending to them to pray to the
Lord to send laborers into His harvest (cf. Matthew 9:38). Christians’ apostolic
action should always, then, be preceded and accompanied by a life of constant
prayer: apostolate is a divine affair, not a merely human one. Our Lord starts His
Church by calling twelve men to be, as it were, twelve patriarchs of the new peo-
ple of God, the Church. This new people is established not by physical but by
spiritual generation. The names of those Apostles are specifically mentioned
here. They were not scholarly, powerful or important people: they were average,
ordinary people who responded faithfully to the grace of their calling—all of them,
that is, except Judas Iscariot. Even before His death and resurrection Jesus con-
fers on them the power to cast out unclean spirits and cure illnesses—as an
earnest of and as training for the saving mission which He will entrust to them.

The Church reveres these first Christians in a very special way and is proud to
carry on their supernatural mission, and to be faithful to the witness they bore to
the teaching of Christ. The true Church is absent unless there is uninterrupted
apostolic succession and identification with the spirit which the Apostles made
their own.

“Apostle”: this word means “sent”; Jesus sent them out to preach His Kingdom
and pass on His teaching.

The Second Vatican Council, in line with Vatican I, “confesses” and “declares”
that the Church has a hierarchical structure: “The Lord Jesus, having prayed at
length to the Father, called to Himself those whom He willed and appointed
twelve to be with Him, whom He might send to preach the Kingdom of God (cf.
Mark 3:13-19: Matthew 10:1-10). These Apostles (cf. Luke 6:13) He constituted
in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which He placed
Peter, chosen from among them (cf. John 21:15-17). He sent them first of all to
the children of Israel and then to all peoples (cf. Romans 1:16), so that, sharing
in His power, they might make all peoples His disciples and sanctify and govern
them (cf. Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:45-48; John 20:21-23) and thus
spread the Church and, administering it under the guidance of the Lord, shepherd
it all days until the end of the world (cf. Matthew 28:28)” (”Lumen Gentium”, 19).

1. In this chapter St. Matthew describes how Jesus, with a view to the spreading
of the Kingdom of God which He inaugurates, decides to establish a Church,
which He does by giving special powers and training to these twelve men who
are its seed.

5-15. After revealing His intention to found the Church by choosing the Twelve
(verses 1-4), in the present passage He shows that He intends to start training
these first Apostles. In other words, from early on in His public ministry He be-
gan to lay the foundations of His Church.

Everyone needs doctrinal and apostolic training to follow his Christian calling.
The Church has a duty to teach, and the faithful have a parallel duty to make
that teaching their own. Therefore, every Christian should avail of the facilities
for training which the Church offers him—which will vary according to each per-
son’s circumstances.

5-6. In His plan of salvation God gave certain promises (to Abraham and the pa-
triarchs), a Covenant and a Law (the Law of Moses), and sent the prophets. The
Messiah would be born into this chosen people, which explains why the Messiah
and the Kingdom of God were to be preached to the house of Israel before being
preached to the Gentiles. Therefore, in their early apprenticeship, Jesus restricts
the Apostles’ area of activity to the Jews, without this taking from the world-wide
scope of the Church’s mission. As we will see, much later on He charges them
to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19); “Go into all the world
and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:16). The Apostles also,
in the early days of the spread of the Church, usually sought out the Jewish com-
munity in any new city they entered, and preached first to them (cf. Acts 13:46).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


15 posted on 07/05/2011 7:39:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings


First reading Genesis 41:55-57,42:5-7,17-24 ©
When the whole country of Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread. But Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.’ There was famine all over the world. Then Joseph opened all the granaries and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine grew worse in the land of Egypt. People came to Egypt from all over the world to buy grain from Joseph, for the famine had grown severe throughout the world.
  Israel’s sons with others making the same journey went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan. It was Joseph, as the man in authority over the country, who sold the grain to all comers. So Joseph’s brothers went and bowed down before him, their faces touching the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers he recognised them. But he did not make himself known to them, and he spoke harshly to them. Then he kept them all in custody for three days.
  On the third day Joseph said to them, ‘Do this and you shall keep your lives, for I am a man who fears God. If you are honest men let one of your brothers be kept in the place of your detention; as for you, go and take grain to relieve the famine of your families. You shall bring me your youngest brother; this way your words will be proved true, and you will not have to die!’ This they did. They said to one another, ‘Truly we are being called to account for our brother. We saw his misery of soul when he begged our mercy, but we did not listen to him and now this misery has come home to us.’ Reuben answered them, ‘Did I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you did not listen, and now we are brought to account for his blood.’ They did not know that Joseph understood, because there was an interpreter between them. He left them and wept.

Psalm Psalm 32:2-3,10-11,18-19

Gospel Matthew 10:1-7 ©
Jesus summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness.
  These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the one who was to betray him. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows:
  ‘Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’

16 posted on 07/05/2011 7:43:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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