Consider this… Disciples are Different

Disciples are Different

For these past few months in our homilies, organizations, outreach and more, we have been focusing on the fact that we are disciples of Jesus Christ here at St. Mary’s.  As we move closer to the 175th anniversary of our parish’s        founding, we are continuing to develop our understanding of discipleship as we now look ahead to this year’s theme: “Disciples Make an Impact.”  Living out our discipleship here at St. Mary’s has indeed impacted countless individuals throughout the years, whether it was someone receiving a sacrament here, a student coming here for their education at school or their faith formation and catechesis, perhaps a couple was married and started their family here; people have been impacted by the support found in our community and by the support we give to the community at large; perhaps someone was touched by some aspect of our Christian service, or our charitable giving, and finally, among  several other impacts, not least of which we hope, is that saints are made here – we are ushering people into the kingdom of Heaven!  The impact of St. Mary’s these many years has been tremendous.

The reason discipleship is so impactful is that disciples of Jesus Christ are called to be different, to live differently in the world, are called to be difference-makers.  The Gospel of this weekend talks about avoiding the broad road which leads to destruction, and striving to enter the Kingdom of God through the narrow gate.  Jesus is saying, it’s not enough to be like everyone else and simply do what everyone else is doing.  We are not called to mediocrity, but rather, we are called to something more…  Consider these challenging teachings of Jesus in which the impact of being a disciple is made clear because of our calling to a different approach to belongings, prayer, love, power, and the like:

  • Matthew 6: 31-33, cf. Luke 12:29-31 – So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘what are we to drink?’ or ‘what are we to wear?’  All these things the pagans seek.  Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you besides.
  • Matthew 6: 5-13 – When you pray,do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street          corners so that others may see them.  Amen, I say to you they have received their reward.  But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to you Father in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.  In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them.  Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 
  • Matthew 5: 46-48, cf. Luke 6:32-36 – For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?  I say to you love your enemies… be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
  • Matthew 20: 25-27, cf. Mark 10:42-44, cf. Luke 22:25-27 – Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the         Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them feltBut it shall not be so among you.  Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.”
  • Matthew 6: 2-4 – When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others.  Amen, I say to you they have received their reward.  But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
  • John 15:18-19 –If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
  • Matthew 5: 13-16 –You are the salt of the earth… you are the light of the world.  Just so, your light must shine before others.

Consider This…  Disciples are Different

Peace, 

Fr. Luke