he[Jesus] called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Matthew 10:1-4 ESV).
I don’t know about you, but every so often I need an affirmation. I am a Monk in training. If I am completely upfront with others and myself; when and if I make solemn vows, I will always be a Monk in training. We all have a lot to learn.
As I read these words from St. Matthew’s Gospel about Jesus calling His Apostles, I am encouraged and affirmed. Jesus calls them all by name. Jesus wants to impact the world so much through us, that He calls us each by our name. Whether we are female or male or any other useless label humankind heaps upon us. “….. for all of you are one in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Galatians 3:28b NRSV). Jesus calls us by our name to live into who we are, not what we are. In Jesus, we are called by name as God’s beloved, with whom God is well-pleased. (See Matthew 3:13-17).
God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (43:1b NRSV).
Today, Jesus calls us by our name to be drawn more deeply into His life. He wants us to know that we are not alone. He wants to walk with us through our uncertainty. Jesus wants to show us how to follow Him through daily life. St. Benedict tells us how to do that in the very first word of The Rule. “Listen.”
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB