The internet has made genealogy easier to research. Many have traced their family roots centuries back to the country of origin. Some have paid large sums of money to trace their family roots and then they have to pay a larger sum of money to keep it quiet.
We like to know where we started. The Gospel gives us an insight to our roots. The names of the original Apostles are listed, even the one who betrayed Him. In the original group were the good, the bad, and the not so good. They were all imperfect, just like we are. Jesus chose them. The Apostles did not have the benefit of a vocation retreat, a discernment experience or spiritual direction. Jesus just called them by name, and they said “yes”. Notice that the call did not take place in the Temple or the Synagogue. The Lord called them in the middle of their daily work or on the street, whatever they were doing. “Come follow me.” “Where?” “Where do you live?” “Come and you will see.” The invitation was to follow Him. The lives of the Apostles changed drastically. All of them were probably married, except for John. Nothing is written about the reaction of their wives. Maybe some were happy to see them go. Consider that they sacrificed everything: comforts of home, work, income. They went off on a three-year adventure to learn from the Master. Indeed, they learned much. The Apostles were given life-lessons about how people were more important than the Law. Their vocation became clear as they touched the untouchable, associated with sinners, reached out to the poor. Rather than taking the Apostles away from the world, Jesus rubbed their noses in the messiness of the human condition.
“Look at them”, Jesus said. “They look like sheep without a shepherd.” Sheep without a shepherd have no direction. They are scattered, lost and in danger of being killed by predators. Do we have the image in our mind? Are we getting the picture? The news on any given day shows the world in the same kind of dilemma. Ask teachers why they are having such a difficult time with what is being required of them. A world gone mad. The ridiculous has become the norm. Young people are pulled in so many directions; that they are indeed like sheep without a shepherd. From where will they learn the truth? Who will teach them what is right? We need shepherds more than ever. People, like the Apostles who are willing to sacrifice everything in order to speak about Jesus Christ.
Stuff that was only talked about behind closed doors is now available on every cell phone for any age group. Children are exposed to evils which slaughter their innocence. Imagine how different our world would be if we used the wonders of technology to spread the Gospel. We have tremendous tools of evangelization in the palm of our hands. Zoom, group chats, Facetime: the possibilities are endless of how we can use what is available for good, rather than for selfish reasons. Most of us will not get excited about going house to house to knock on doors, like other religions do. But what is stopping us from calling at least one person to ask them if they want to come to Holy Mass with us? Why don’t we reach out to someone, who we know feels alienated from the Church, to remind them that they are still part of the community? A single call, a text, a note can do so much good. If we pray to the master of harvest to send out laborers for his harvest, then we also must hear the call to be the laborers. Who else is going to hear the call? To whom is Jesus speaking? We need to be the change that we want to see. No fair just complaining about the bad things happening in our world. Anybody can do that! Jesus sent the Apostles out. He empowered them to make the world a better place. To bring people to Him.
He empowers us to do the same. We have many advantages to evangelize. Listen. The Lord is calling.