I'm currently reading Sherry Weddell's much discussed Forming Intentional Disciples. I'm still just in the beginning, but reading the first couple chapters have caused me to ask a question - one that Weddell will probably get into later in the book, but one that I wanted to answer for myself:
"What is a disciple?"
It seems, even to me, like a question that we don't need ask. We're Christians, we're disciples of Jesus - what's so complicated about that? Well, the book is about the difference between being a cultural Catholic or a casual Catholic and truly being a disciple of Jesus.
Well, as I reflected on what I had read one night, I thought about what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus when he was walking around the Holy Land two thousand years ago.
Those disciples didn't just check in with Jesus once a day or once a week. They lived with Jesus. Where he went, they went. Where he slept, they slept - even outside. They ate with him, they walked with him - every part of their lives revolved around this man.
What's that mean about discipleship for us?
It means that being a Christian, is much more than checking an attendance box. Being a Catholic is something we should choose. We become Catholics at Baptism, but it's our choice to cooperate with that grace, every day, to live as a disciple that lets our baptism bear fruit in our lives.
Let us allow our encounter with Jesus to affect every part of who we are.