I’d like you to imagine for a moment what it must have been like to have lived during Jesus’ time. One of the things we know about the apostles is that they were very ordinary people. They were fishermen, tax collectors and other sorts of common people. And yet, God chose them, just as he chose you and me through our Baptism, to go out into the world and share the Good News.
We hear about the inadequacy of the apostles. After all the things they had seen—Jesus’ miracles, teachings, death, resurrection and his appearances to them after his resurrection—they still have doubt.
The fear of inadequacy is a broken inclination we all share as humans. It’s often this tremendous interior fear that keeps us from having confidence in God and going into the world to share the Good News of the Gospel. Only after Pentecost were the apostles able to surmount this fear.
Just like the apostles at Pentecost, through our Baptism we have been given the graces of the Holy Spirit, sanctifying grace, and the supernatural and cardinal virtues, allowing us to be in right relationship with God. Confirmation is a strengthening of those gifts. When the apostles would lay hands on the people, they were given spiritual graces. It was those spiritual graces that enabled them to go out and be witnesses to all the world.
Today, there are many voices in the world that speak many words of negativity to build fear. You and I might be filled with the fear of inadequacy. We might feel like we’re not perfect and don’t know all the answers.
In my life, I need to continue to learn that God gives the graces at the moment when we need them. He invites you and me to walk into those places with confidence in him, not knowing what we’re going to say, perhaps being terrified, but being vulnerable enough to say, “God, I’m going to trust you. You promised to be with us until the end of time.” Every single one of us who has been baptized and confirmed have the graces that we need to trust God.
Even the apostles struggled from time to time, and so, we shouldn’t be afraid of the struggle either. We should all the more turn to God and keep asking him for the grace to overcome whatever hinders us from speaking to our friends, our relatives, our neighbors, co-workers, and the communities we live in about what a difference God makes in our lives. We sometimes discover in these situations that we’ve spoken certain words and afterwards we say, where did they come from? They came from the grace God gives us in the moment.
My brothers and sisters, we have everything we need, even though we may feel grossly inadequate because we might feel our knowledge of Scripture or Church teaching is insufficient. These feelings should inspire us to learn more about Scripture, more about what God has revealed, and then to walk into those places of vulnerability and let God work through us.
Jesus chose the apostles, who were grossly inadequate people, to be his disciples. He didn’t choose the scholars of the law—those who were the most sophisticated and articulate in describing things. No, he chose ordinary people just like you and me. And he continues to choose you and me today.
Let’s pray for the grace to be missionary disciples in our efforts, going out of our way to share the Good News with everybody around us so that the joy that is of God can be shared with those who are in most need of it. Strive to be willing, faithful disciples. If you feel inadequate at times or fail, know that you’re not unlike the apostles Jesus chose.