The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
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.
Reflection (Sem. Emmanuel Calumpong):
In today’s Gospel, Jesus spends a whole night on the mountain in prayer, and when daylight comes, he selects his twelve apostles. We all know that Jesus Is always in communion with His Father, and yet He sets aside time to be alone with His Father in prayer. In this He gives us an example of how to grow in our relationship with the Father, how to open ourselves to His will and most especially, how to prepare for decisions.
In our life, we are always faced with a lot of decisions. From the time we wake up in the morning until we sleep at night, we are confronted with decisions to make. Sometimes we make decisions in haste without even thinking or discerning too much about them. We just rely on our guts, instincts, feelings or outlook at the moment when decisions are to be made. There are times that even if we are not in our proper disposition, we make decisions, thus, most often than not, such decisions have bad results or consequences. That’s why, many decision makers would say, “We should not make decisions when we are in our lowest or highest moment” Why? Because most decisions of that kind are just a result of the feelings we have at those moments that we already forget to think or discern things first.
But in today’s Gospel Jesus shows us what happens when we pray. That we do not act on our own and that God reveals a way to us. In fact, the daylight breaking on Jesus on the mountain is symbolic of this. It is when we open our hearts to the Lord in prayer that He fills us with divine wisdom.
In our journey towards our union with Him, we need to submit our wills to Him so that Jesus will remove the obstacles that interfere with His graces. Like the apostles, we too have been chosen by Jesus to be His followers. Let us turn frequently to prayer to ask the Lord for the understanding and graces we need, to live out His call.