Occasionally, I reflect on the purpose of this column. So this is simply a personal meditation on the Word Made Flesh and our call to be disciples of Jesus.
A disciple is a student of the Living Word. A disciple is a person entirely committed to following Jesus. A disciple is someone who lives the life of Jesus in our world today. When they fall, they rise again.
Jesus said, "Every disciple, when he is fully trained, will be like his teacher" (Luke 6.40). We are a people in training.
The seed of the Divine Word has been planted in us. We are called to absorb the teachings of Jesus into our hearts and to let them transform our lives. Wholehearted disciples of Jesus will renew this tired world.
Each of us needs to examine our hearts daily. Are we really living the life of Jesus? Are we truly applying the Word of God in the situations and experiences of our daily life? Are we acting as instruments of divine love and mercy? A disciple must begin again and again to live the call. Jesus the Living Word wants to be made flesh in you and me.
The teachings of Jesus are radical. They call us to live above and beyond the materialistic life to which most people aspire.
Jesus calls you and me to a supernatural life. A higher life than what we are capable of on our own. A life empowered by his Spirit. A life of heroic virtue and love. A life absorbed in communion with our Lord and King. A disciple must aim his life only at the target: Jesus Christ.
Today I was meditating on this provocative quote by St. John Eudes:
"I ask you to consider that Jesus Christ is your true head, and that you are his members. . . . All that is his is yours: his spirit, his heart, his body and soul, and all his faculties. You must make use of these as your own, to serve, praise, love and glorify God" (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1698).
All that is his is ours. We really need to let this thought permeate our lives. His spirit. His heart. His very life is ours.
CNS PHOTO | GREGORY SHEMITZ
'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.'
What if all Christians lived as disciples of Jesus? What if we let the Living Word take complete control of our lives? What if we filled our lives with thanksgiving and made prayer our first priority?
We all know the answer. The Church would be renewed. The world would see in us the true hope for all of humanity. Jesus would live in our world today.
There is a deep stirring in Christianity today. There is a profound hunger for authentic Christianity. A deep thirst for a dynamic and living orthodoxy that focuses on our call to live as authentic disciples of Jesus.
Look around. Do we not see the emptiness of our modern lives? Do we not see in the eyes of those around us - a longing for more?
The words of singer Stephen Curtis Chapman speak to the heart of our sad culture of death: "There's more to this life than living and dying. More than just trying to make it through the day."
The "more to this life" is living as authentic disciples of Jesus.
In Sunday's Gospel, Jesus calls all Christians to awaken and live our sacred calling. "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
So let us apply our life to this Sunday's readings with one commitment: What we read, we will live. Each week let us choose a line or two of Scripture and let it come alive in us. We can do this individually and in faith sharing groups.
Here is a challenging quote from Archbishop Charles Chaput: "One night a week can be spent reading, talking with each other, listening to each other and praying over Scripture. We can at least do that much. And if we do, we'll discover that eventually we're sober again and not drunk on technology and our own overheated appetites."
This is what disciples do. They live the Word. They put Jesus first. Each week let us meditate, pray and be the Word Made Flesh.
Jesus, live every breath in us. We choose to be your disciples each day and shine your light to all. May your word be made flesh in us. Amen.