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Friends, today in the Gospel, Jesus gathers his disciples. And he appoints twelve Apostles “that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach.”

St. Thérèse of Lisieux tells us that she endeavored to write down her spiritual memoir at the prompting of her sister, who was also her religious superior to whom she was bound in obedience. After praying that she say nothing displeasing to Christ, she took up the Gospel of Mark, and her eyes fell on these words: “Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.”

This verse, she says, is the interpretive key to her life, for it describes the way Christ has worked in her soul: “He does not call those who are worthy, but those whom he pleases.” Hers was a story of a divine love, graciously willing the good of the other, that awakens an imitative reaction in the one who is loved.

It is not a narrative of economic exchange—rewards for worthiness—but of the loop of grace, unmerited love engendering disinterested love, the divine life propagating itself in what is other.