Appointing the Twelve Apostles…
For His ministry and teachings to spread even further, Christ called on the Apostles:
He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: (he appointed the twelve:)
Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. -Mark 3:14-19, NAB
In these passages, we find the beginnings of the Church. With the appointing of the Apostles, Jesus is sending out others to continue His ministry. They took with them the ability to preach and drive out demons to authenticate that they were truly sent by God.
These men were more than simply Christ’s missionaries. One day, they would help to form the basic foundation of the Church and become the first bishops – including the first Bishop of Rome – the Pope – St. Peter. The succession of popes has continued from Peter to our current pope, Pope Benedict XVI.
There are those who doubt the authority of the Church in today’s world, just as they doubted Christ’s Apostles 2000 years ago. Christ has given our bishops and priests the authority to preach and drive out demons, yet some still do not believe.
Why do we need our hierarchy of leaders in the first place? Could we not simply follow the teachings of Christ? Truly, it is the organization of the Church that has allowed it to survive 2000 years. Of the world’s great dynasties, none continue to exist beyond the Church. Where are the Romans? Babylonians? Persians? Mayans? All are gone. Only the Church survives.
These twelve men, appointed by Christ Himself, were the beginning of our beloved Catholic Church. May we always remember their trials and sacrifices. May we follow their example and turn to them for their intercessions. And, may we continue their work in this fallen world.