Today’s readings are a kind of blueprint for the life of the disciple. We see that those who surrounded Jesus as his core group were but a few selected people. We have the Twelve, of course, but also some women. Common to all of them is that nowadays we would probably not see any of them as qualified for the job of being in the Savior’s inner circle. The Twelve themselves were a ragtag bunch, tradesmen, fishermen, tax collectors – none of them were even particularly distinguished in their chosen careers. It is said that the only one of them who was distinguished and could possibly have been called qualified was Judas Iscariot, and we all know what became of him.
The women mentioned were similarly unqualified. The Gospel says that they had all been cured either of evil spirits or infirmities. But they also provided for the ministry out of their means. So it’s a humble group that surrounds Jesus, and apparently, that was fine with him. He came, after all, to save those who needed saving, not those who had no use for a Savior.
Paul tells Timothy that those who would be disciples must “pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.” They must “Compete well for the faith” and thus “Lay hold of eternal life.” Jesus chooses anyone he wants; not merely those who are outstanding in qualifications. Blessed indeed are those who are poor in Spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.”