It is that way with us as well. We may be adults but sometimes we just need someone with skin on. That happens when a friend listens, really listens, to us. It happens when married couples can express their deepest feelings to and for the other. It happens when you need a hug and someone hugs you. And it happens in a community when people are there for each other. We are that kind of community here.
In the gospel today, after Jesus hears of the arrest of John the Baptist, Jesus calls his first four disciples. Jesus, too, feels the need to have people who are with him, those with skin on, who will be a community of faithful people and will stick with each other as they grow and mature into their faith.
Jesus is not afraid to own his vulnerability. Jesus asks others, both men and women, to come be with him. It is through this community, especially the women who stood by the cross, that Jesus could face his death on that cross. Jesus could forgive those who crucified him. And after Jesus’ resurrection could re-invite the disciples, who had fled, to come be with him again.
Jesus knows the strength and the weakness of being human, one like us. Jesus knows the need for silence and contemplative prayer. And Jesus knows that we need each other, that we need to be with and for each other, and be available when someone needs ‘a person with skin on.’
The Church puts a lot of theological language around the Eucharist. However, the child said it so well, “Sometimes I just need someone with skin on.” As we gather each Sunday to pray, to sing, to receive Jesus under the form of bread, and at the coffee and donuts time after Mass, we are for each other disciples, people who will be there for each other when needed.
It is one way of following Jesus when he calls us by name to “Come, follow me.”
We seek to respond to the call of the Church herself, that all the faithful are expected to reflect on God’s Word and interpret it back to the community.