Spiritual News

Discipleship by Msgr. Marren

July 28, 2017

A disciple is a person who after freely enrolling him or herself in the school of a teacher, embraces the teacher’s philosophy and manifests that philosophy in the lifestyle they live.

Jesus himself was very careful to point out to His would-be disciples the cost of being His disciple. He reminded those who wanted to become His disciples that they would have to accept his complete Lordship over their lives, that there could be no room for two masters, and that unless we were ready to pick up the Cross (to die to self) daily and follow Him, we were not fit to be His disciples.

For Jesus, discipleship then is a daily journey; it is not a one-time decision, but a countless number of decisions which we make day in and day out of our lives. Each decision either promotes and advances the Kingdom of God or advances the Kingdom of self. There is no neutral ground.

Advancing the Kingdom of God never comes cheap; there is always a high cost to pay, and that is why the Cross bears a prominent place in our faith. Sometimes that cost can be very perilous.

In 1990, Rabbi Harold Schulweis (founder of the Jewish foundation for Christian Rescuers), on 60 Minutes shared some such stories.  He wants Jewish communities to know that some people did care and fought in peril to their own lives to resist the Holocaust.

There was Jan and Anna Polhalski who hid a Jewish family of five in their home for five hundred days during the war because Anna said hiding Jews from the Nazis “was the Catholic thing to do.” A community of Bulgarian nuns saved hundreds of Jewish children from certain death by hiding them in their convent. And there is the story of Anne Frank and her family. But the question now is:  What is my story; what is your story?

Each of us calls ourselves disciples of Christ but what is the cost of that discipleship? We are either advancing the Kingdom of God or not. If I am not advancing the Kingdom of God, then I must ask myself, whose Kingdom am I advancing? Remember, there is no neutral ground; I am advancing something.

© 2017

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