"a chosen race" (1 pt 2:9)
"He called His disciples and selected twelve of them to be His apostles." —Luke 6:13
Jesus called a number of disciples together and chose twelve of them to be His apostles (Lk 6:13), the ones He would specially form and mold to be the foundation of His Church (Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14). The entire basis for the Church rests on the fact that Jesus selected some for special leadership. This means that the Church is not a democracy, nor did Jesus intend for it to be one.
This didn't mean that Jesus snubbed the other disciples who were not chosen for apostleship. On the contrary, after sending the twelve out on mission (Lk 9:1ff), He "appointed a further seventy-two and sent them in pairs before Him to every town and place He intended to visit" (Lk 10:1). Jesus made a point to tell these seventy-two to "remember" that He Himself was sending them (Lk 10:3). If we "remember" what Jesus sends us to do, we are less likely to fall into the trap of comparing our status to that of others (see Jn 21:21). The Twelve themselves fell into this trap on several occasions (e.g. Mt 20:24).
"Because [we] are God's chosen ones" (Col 3:12), we will do "only what the Lord assigned" us (1 Cor 3:5). We will gladly support those others whom the Lord has chosen, including the apostles and their successors, the bishops, who are leading the life the Lord assigned them (1 Cor 7:17). When we do this, we are "fitted together and [take] shape as a holy temple in the Lord" (Eph 2:21). "God has set each member of the body in the place He wanted it to be" (1 Cor 12:18). Love the Church as Jesus does (Eph 5:25).
Prayer: Father, thank You for calling me to belong to Your body. I devote myself to the health and strength of Your Church.
Promise: "You are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God." —Eph 2:19
Praise: St. Simon, a Zealot who hated Rome, accepted Matthew, who collected taxes for Rome, as His brother in Christ.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, April 24, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 28, 2003