In today’s Gospel story we hear an account of Jesus calling to himself his special group of friends and fellow workers.

It is an invitation to his twelve close followers, not simply to “stick with him”, but it is also an invitation to reject all that is unhelpful in life.  The apostles, in accepting the invitation from Jesus reject unbelief, indifference, animosity, hatred, violence, hopelessness, despair, greed and negativity.  Only three attributes are needed to follow Jesus – FAITH, HOPE and LOVE and that’s what they embrace.

You see, to be a follower of Jesus Christ we have to leave something behind and take on something that is new.  It is about rejecting death and embracing life.

It is worth reflecting sometimes about m our own baptism.  Most of us were too m young to remember the event but four m important things happened.

Firstly, we were welcomed into the m church. Symbolically we came in from the outside m and we were invited to “love God and love our fellow human beings”.

Secondly we were anointed with sacred oil as a sign that we were protected and safe from evil.

Thirdly we were washed with water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bringing about our “oneness” with God forever.

And fourthly we were symbolically clothed in new white baptismal garments as a sign that, not only inwardly but also m outwardly, we are new people, both spiritually and physically.

Today is a time to reflect on the implications of our own Baptism – On the moment when we were invited to leave aside unbelief, indifference, m hopelessness, greed and negativity and to embrace FAITH, HOPE and LOVE.  This is our calling and we have accepted it. Today it is worth celebrating!

Rev Fr Tom Stevens