Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

The Twelve Dudes That Did


My kids had the best book about Jesus and the Apostles when they were toddlers.  It was called “Jesus and the Twelve Dudes that Did.”


“Do you know who the disciples were?

Can you name their names?

They followed Jesus everywhere and learned how to love like Him.

Open up and find out what else they did!”


We must have read that book hundreds of times, hearing what each man did to help Jesus, and how Jesus helped each man.


Throughout the book, each of the apostles is drawn as an individual.  One is tall, one is short, one is old, one is young; all are represented as individuals.  It is easy to think of each and wonder about their individual paths.


Thomas has always been my favorite of the dudes.


I, like Thomas, have wrestled with doubt. Perhaps I have not reached Meryl Streep levels of screaming “I HAVE DOUBT!!!” – but I spent years analyzing the logistics and feasibility of what I was hearing in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Surrounded by sharp minds and individuals ready to debate the existence of a higher spirit, my years as a college student were spent with a focus outside of the church.

Interestingly enough, my interests and passions started to develop, and I began to join clubs and activities that had a shared mission. The tenets of caring for others were instilled in me and were present even as I questioned my faith. And those tenets were what brought me back in full acceptance of my beliefs as a mother-to-be.

There was a moment for me – albeit a moment not as miraculous as those that “the 12 dudes that did” witnessed.  Only six weeks old, my infant son was being run through a litany of tests to determine the cause of his internal bleeding. As doctors debated whether he needed to be sent via helicopter to Riley Children's hospital, I found myself praying to the blessed Mary, mother of God. Mother-to-mother, I asked for her prayers for my son, and could not stop. In that moment I had no doubt. My faith that she would hear my prayers was unwavering.  My relationship with Mary changed that day.

Each year I look forward to the readings during Palm Sunday and of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. But as time changes my role in life, my perception of these readings also changes. As a child I had a very picture-book view; I could only picture the beautiful stations of the cross in their stylized interpretation of the events. As a young adult, I would think of how Jesus could have accomplished all he did by the age of 33. Would I have seen him for who he was, or would I have been one in the crowd shouting "crucify him”?


Now I find I'm viewing the events and trying to understand the point of view of Mary, watching her son complete the goals he was put on Earth to accomplish. I have experienced the pain of watching my kids hurt. Through broken bones, illnesses and broken hearts it hurts deeply when you watch your child hurt. To watch one die on the cross, regardless of the fact that he was saving the world, is beyond compare.


I’m sure as I listen to the readings over this Holy Week I will again contemplate the lives of Mary, the twelve dudes who did and of course, Jesus.  I pray that we all grow in our understanding and appreciate the mystery that unfolds each year as we journey with them.