Jesus appoints His Apostles and miraculously heals a great multitude prior to the Sermon on the Plain. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Fruit of Faithfulness from the Holy Spirit so that he can remain faithful despite the great scandal of evil priests and by growing in the Virtue of Piety so he can always be strengthened in the Sacraments.
23rd Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Lk 6:12-19
With momentum growing in His ministry and the battles with the Jewish leadership escalating, Jesus moves to establish the men who will be the leaders of His Holy Catholic Church. After an all-night prayer vigil with God the Father on a mountain, Jesus hand-selects 12 men to be His Apostles (meaning “to be sent”).
Jesus’ selection of 12 Jewish men is purposeful. Sending 12 Jewish men to Israel symbolically represents God’s desire for the 12 tribes, the “lost sheep of Israel”, to be the first healed and drawn into His Kingdom. Jesus exclusively chooses men to establish a new priesthood for His New Covenant and to confirm men are to lead His Holy Catholic Church. By mentioning Peter first, Jesus is signaling His intention to establish Peter as the first pope of the Church. Judas is mentioned last for he will go on to betray Jesus.
Jesus leads the Apostles down the mountain and delivers His Sermon on the Plain to a great crowd; the people are drawn from all of Israel and also from the Gentile lands, confirming Jesus’ universal call to all men. Jesus heals all, casting out demons and healing all diseases; mysteriously, Jesus radiates a supernatural “power” that draws many in the crowd to draw close to Him, and seek to touch Him, believing that they can be healed.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by the incredible physical Stamina, Charisma and Divine Power of Jesus: He climbs a mountain and keeps and all-night vigil, praying for direction from God the Father; He calls His disciples together and gives an emotionally charged talk, appointing His Apostles (knowing that the treacherous Judas would betray Him to death); He leads His Apostles down to engage vast crowds which are drawn by His powerful Charisma; He engages in the emotionally draining and exhausting work of casting out demons and healing those with horrific diseases; despite all this, unlimited power “comes forth from Him” that awes the crowds.
Be faithful in the Spirit despite the scandal of evil priests
Realize: Satan’s evil seduction of some in the priesthood started with Judas (Jn 6:70), was evident at various times in history (see St. Peter Damien), and continues today, with the scandalous betrayals of Jesus by evil priests who commit abominable sex crimes against the innocent, and the evil bishops who cover up these crimes and fail to cleanse the priesthood; Jesus gives a frightening warning of the fate of those who betray Him by preying on the innocent (Mt 26:24).
Believe: Reflect upon Jesus’ perfect plan to establish His Apostolic Church (CCC 857-870).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruit of Faithfulness so that despite the horrific crimes of a small minority of evil priests and the failure of bishops to cleanse the priesthood, I am blessed with an unshakable faith in the priesthood and can be led to faithful and holy priests. St. Peter Damien, pray for us.
Grow in Piety to be strengthened in the Sacraments
Realize: Jesus’ power “came forth from Him and healed them all”, a prefigurement of the mysterious power of the Sacraments; every Catholic man is called to regularly receive the Sacraments of Christ to draw close to Him and be strengthened in the Spiritual Combat.
Believe: Reflect upon the Mysterious Sacraments of Christ (CCC 774-776, 1114-1116, 1504).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I am strengthened in my ability to recognize, hunger for, and experience Your infinite power in the Sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Eucharist.