January 24, 2020

Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church

In the Nicene Creed, the church is described as being “one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” This last designation is based on the unique role of the Twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus. The Catechism affirms that the church “was, and remains, built on the foundation of the Apostles,” and continues to be taught, sanctified, and guided by the apostles until Christ’s return” (CCC 857). These thoughts come to us as we hear the gospel proclaimed to us today.

Jesus’ summoning and sending of the apostles are rooted in his concern for the community of God’s people and its need for leaders and shepherds whom he will form and empower to continue his ministry of mercy, reconciliation, and healing. That Jesus “went up the mountain” to launch this project (a vivid echo of Moses’ mountain-top experience) indicates his desire to associate this new community with the covenanted history of Israel while also commissioning them to assume his wider mission of preaching the presence of the kingdom of God as good news for all the people. The Preface of the Apostles reminds us that the role of the church is to “offer all humanity (God’s) heavenly teaching.”

While recognizing the uniqueness of the call of the apostles, the gospel today invites reflection on the meaning of our call at our baptism and our anointing as prophets who hear the word of God and proclaim it with courage and confidence. That we might fulfill our calling, we too, like the Apostles, must spend time with the Lord in prayer and so open ourselves to his Spirit, empowering us to be his witnesses.

Let Us Pray:

Grant us, O Lord, through the intercession of the apostles, an ever deeper devotion to your Son Jesus. Amen


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About George Dunne, SSS