January 23rd, 2009
by Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.
Heb 8:6-13 / Mk 3:13-19
Like a new president putting together his cabinet, Jesus chose His twelve and took them to the top of a mountain where He gave to each a special share in His ministry of spreading the Good News. Every one of them was gifted in some way, but none of them was perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Yet Jesus saw in each the capacity for true greatness in the eyes of God. He saw it in Matthew the tax collector, in Peter the obstreperous fisherman, and yes, He saw it in Judas, who would later betray Him. Jesus took a chance on the goodness that God had planted in each of their hearts, and in every case but one God’s grace took root and flourished.
Why did the eleven succeed and the one fail? Surely it wasn’t a matter of talent or giftedness, because Judas probably outshone most of his colleagues. And it certainly wasn’t a lack of subsequent mistakes, for the whole lot of them continued to stumble as much as walk along their paths, even after Jesus had sent them the Spirit to be their counsel and guide. The decisive factor in those Apostles achieving the destination of sainthood for which God intended them was not sinlessness, but a readiness to acknowledge their sins, to seek forgiveness, and to start again and again and again.
It was the only real choice that they had, and it’s the only choice we have, not to be perfect, but never to cease in giving our hearts back to the Lord in humble sorrow and then trying again and again and again.