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Today’s Reading: Mark 3:7-19

7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they should crush him; 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.13 And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons: 16 Simon whom he surnamed Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Bo-anerges, that is, sons of thunder; 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Today’s Commentary:

Jesus gains widespread popularity with the crowds. Although they perceive him as a powerful healer and exorcist, the demons know his true identity as God’s Son (3:11). Jesus’ popular appeal here stands in contrast to 3:6 and the resentment of the Pharisees and Herodians.

he appointed twelve: Jesus spent the entire night in prayer before selecting the apostles (Lk 6:12).

The number of apostles is symbolic: as the 12 sons of Jacob were representatives of Old Covenant Israel (Gen 49:3-28), so Jesus gathers 12 patriarchs to found his New Covenant people in the Church (Mt 19:28; Rev 21:12-14; CCC 551, 765). to be sent out: An apostle is “one who is sent out” as a messenger or emissary (cf. Mt 10:5; CCC 858).

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