Fr Joe has written this short reflection on today’s Gospel.
Jesus has just prayed to the Father to send labourers to his harvest and now imparts His authority upon the chosen apostles to do the very same things that they have witnessed Jesus do. The word apostle means “one who is sent forth”. Jesus invests these apostles with the authority of Himself, the sender.
In choosing 12 apostles, Jesus is laying the foundations of His new church and restoring Israel, as the 12 apostles are representative of the 12 tribes of Israel. The apostles are ordinary men with no theological backgrounds or particular status in their communities. However, they will allow the Lord to form and shape them and make them “fishers of men”. Judas, was originally a good person and was not chosen to betray Jesus. He simply took his eye off Jesus and his heart became divided.
Jesus specifically tells the apostles to go first to the lost tribes of the house of Israel. Israel was the Lord’s possession (Exodus 19:5) and His chosen people. Jesus Himself was born through St Joseph of the line of King Davis and born into the chosen people. They, the chosen people have to hear the proclamation that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand first.
At the Ascension (St Matthew 28:19) Jesus will instruct the apostles to go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News, to all nations, to all peoples. The non-Jews, the gentiles and pagans will also have the Gospel preached to them.