and they came to him.
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 3:13-19
Today's Gospel reading depicts the appointment of the Twelve Apostles by Jesus. In it, Jesus is described as sending them forth preach and giving them the authority to drive out demons. The reading then lists their names. These Apostles became the foundation of the early church and are the forerunners of today's bishops. They had authority to teach and, in other places, are given the authority to forgiven sins. In many respects, these twelve men could be considered Jesus' closest confidants and followers.
So why do we still read about the appointment of the Apostles today. The Apostles are meant to serve as an example for all of us about how to follow Christ and be his disciples. Just as they were tasked with going forth and preaching the Good News, so to we must preach the Good News in our world today. We may not have the ability to drive out demons or work miraculous cures, but we do have the ability to serve others and witness to Jesus through that service. This is how we must live out our discipleship today. As St. Francis said: "Always remember to preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words."