We can all recite the names of Jesus’ most famous disciples-Peter, John, James and so on. Quite probably, as we read the stories in the Gospels, we imagine Jesus and the twelve as a small, lonely band.
Yet there are many hints of others in their company. A group of faithful women accompanied them from Galilee, and often provided the financial means for them to continue (Luke 8:2-3; Matthew 27:56); they were at the cross to the end (Matthew 27:55-56) and first at the tomb (Matthew 28:1). Even the fact that the Gospel writers sometimes specify “the twelve” shows that the disciples included more than just the twelve. Today’s reading gives the names of two men who were among the faithful followers but not part of the original twelve.
We should not dismiss these faithful people as unimportant. The twelve and the later apostles could not have carried out their calling without the support and prayers of these others. Financial support is important, but so is just being there, what we might call a ministry of accompaniment.
Reflect: Who in your community needs your accompaniment?
Faithful God, you dwell among us and accompany us on our journey. Help us to be there for others in need. Amen. — PS