Friday the Second Week in Ordinary Time
(Heb 8: 6 – 13; Ps 57; Mark 3:13 – 19)
St. Mark recounts: “Jesus summoned those He wanted and they came to Him. He appointed twelve whom He also names Apostles that they might be with Him and He might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”
“He summoned” – the Greek verb can also mean “He called them to Himself” – with that translation there is a more personal note and this comes through in His stated purpose: “that they might be with Him” – that they might be His companions is ﬁrst and foremost – the call to preach and heal follow.
Being with Him, being His companions opens to us something of the mystery of Jesus’ sacred humanity – He desires to have companions; in His humanity Jesus, while bearing His divinity, is never a loner, never isolated, aloof. He is found among people – He enjoys a wedding feast in Cana, He dines with a Pharisee named Simon. And there are the Twelve and others who become companions; some are named: there is Bartimaeus regaining his sight follows Jesus on the road, there is Zacchaeus in whose home Jesus dined with tax collectors and sinners and there were the holy women, Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James and Joses and Salome who saw to his needs.
Down through the ages, there have been countless companions Jesus welcomed and completely enjoyed their company; they followed Him with a delight beyond description. It is our privilege to be among those companions because He has desired and does desire for us to be with Him, to be His at all times.
But being His companions goes well beyond mere physical presence, just tagging along; He tells us so in His words at the Last Supper: (John 15) – “You are My friends if you do what I command you…I call you friends since I have made known to you all that I heard from the Father.”
He is exceedingly clear: “The command I give you is this that you love one another.” This is the sign, the mark of being a true companion of the Lord Jesus, a friend of the Lord,a lover to the end. When we receive the most Holy Eucharist, in this most sacred moment of divine love given and our response for love received, surely the Lord looks upon us and speaks a word to each, more than a word actually
– a name: “FRIEND.”