Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

The Disciple

Jesus begins his public ministry by gathering his first disciples. His method differs from those of the other religious leaders of his day. He does not outwardly challenge the conscience of the people as John the Baptist did. He does not retreat from the world, as did the members of the Qumran community. He is completely different from the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Jesus is unique. He is not distant, strange, or unapproachable as were most ancient philosophers and religious leaders. The Lord adopts a way of life unknown at that time. He has no set plan or organization other than the fulfillment of the will of his heavenly Father. As he encounters each individual personally, he calls each one to a unique relationship with himself. “You did not choose me, no, I choose you” (John 15: 16).

What then, are the characteristics of a disciple of Jesus?

Since a disciple is a student and a follower, each disciple must be a good listener. Listeners are open and attentive. Like Mary, the sister of Martha, the true disciple will be eager to listen, to discover, and to understand. The message will never be subject to critical analysis. Instead, true disciples approach the wellspring of truth seeking to satiate a profound desire for happiness, transcendence, and peace. For true disciples know that only then will they find freedom in the truth.

True discipleship requires perseverance. The journey is long and obstacles abound... (Continued here)

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