So what does to mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? First of all there has to be a hunger and a desire for a relationship with Him. According to Sherry Weddell it is the Holy Spirit who inspires a thirst for righteousness. That means having a desire to love God with all your heart and to see that love overflows into loving our neighbor as our self.
We are invited to make the basic message of the Gospels ours. Jesus Christ, through his passion, death, and resurrection has given us the promise of eternal life. This changes everything and we recognize that this powerful message is not ours to keep. No, it is a message that we are called to share because we know that Christ’s message is for everyone.
Think of the early Apostolic Church. The apostles were sent out into towns and villages where there were no great Basilicas or Cathedrals. When they arrived in a location they set about sharing the story of Jesus with others, retelling the parables of Jesus and then inviting others to receive baptism. Finally the new converts would join the apostles in the breaking of the bread.
Does the Church today mirror that same personal one on one invitation? Maybe just a little. We have the Gospel and we may know people who are not Catholic, but we rarely think about our responsibility to share our faith with others. We may say, “That’s the priest’s job.” But, if we are all called to intimate discipleship then it becomes the joy of every Catholic to share the faith.
Blessings… Father Dooley
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT: Have I had that moment when I accepted my discipleship? Is the Gospel something that moves my entire being? Do I see my role in helping others come to faith as important?