Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all. (Luke 6:12-19)
In (the) Gospel reading (from Sept. 9th) we see Jesus, having spent all night in prayer, selecting twelve men from all those who had become His disciples. Surely, there were some who thought themselves to be more qualified than fisherman, or more worthy than a tax collector – but what does Jesus see in them that makes them stand out from the others? In the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel account when Jesus is telling everyone at the synagogue that unless they eat His flesh and drink His blood that they have no life in them, many of those disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him. Jesus then turns to the twelve, His selected few, and sets them up to prove why He chose them, asking, ” Will you also go away?” Simon Peter, speaking for them all, replies, ” Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Where all others would walk away – the Eucharist – these men stayed; where all the others would have failed the test of faith – Eucharist – these would believe. If God so loved the world He sent His only begotten Son so that all who would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life, no wonder He chose these men, and Peter of them all.