"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Apostles

The Cursillo men’s group I belong to got into a discussion about the names of the twelve apostles. I was not able to name them which meant it was time for me  to do some research. What I discovered was that the names are listed three different times in the Bible.

“The New Testament offers several lists of the names of Christ’s apostles, all of whom were men (Matt. 10:2–3; Luke 6:13–16; Acts 1:13, 26), and records that they were specifically chosen by Christ from among his disciples.”
“The apostle Thaddeus mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew (10:3) and Mark (3:18) is one and the same as the first Judas mentioned in Luke (6:16). It is likely that this apostle had a second name that was often used to avoid confusion with Judas Iscariot. A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture explains:
Doubtless like others of his time he enjoyed several names, and it is natural that the early Christians should have avoided the name he shared with the traitor.”

Matthew 10:2-4
The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Luke 6:13-16
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.

Acts 1:13,26
When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.
            Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with
             the eleven apostles.                       

So it seems that Judas, son of James and Thaddeus are the same person. Matthias has replaced Judas Iscariot and there are still twelve apostles. They were twelve ordinary men from different walks of life who went out to preach the word of Jesus. They were the early Bishops of the Church.

“Apostolic succession is the line of bishops stretching back to the apostles. The role of apostolic succession in preserving true doctrine is illustrated in the Bible. To make sure that the apostles’ teachings would be passed down after the deaths of the apostles, Paul told Timothy, "[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). In this passage he refers to the first three generations of apostolic succession—his own generation, Timothy’s generation, and the generation Timothy will teach.”

I do not follow basketball but I do like motivational speakers. Jim Valvano has a quote that I love and will always remember. “Every day ordinary people do extraordinary things.”  You and I are ordinary people. If we believe and trust in Jesus we can accomplish extraordinary things. This is a simple uncomplicated thing that we forget and need to be reminded about. We work too hard when all it takes is for us to open our hearts. 

Listen and see what is there for you and accept His grace.