Prize for being a disciple of Jesus

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The WORD in Other Words by Fr Ernesto Lagura SVD (Philippines) for Monday Week 1 in Ordinary Time

The opening paragraph of the Gospel according to St Mark is on St John the Baptist and his proclamation to the Jews that they should be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. After baptizing some Jews and Jesus himself, John had his own baptism of fire: he was arrested and imprisoned. That was his prize for announcing Jesus to the Judeans and Galileans.

Yes, there is a prize for being a disciple of Jesus. Discipleship is neither a picnic nor a stroll in the park. Discipleship is walking with Jesus — and sharing his cross. When we received the sacrament of baptism, we accepted his invitation to follow him and he his disciple — just as he invited Simon and Andrew, James and John.

A true disciple of Jesus has to be committed to him. This can mean that we are ready to give up things and people, when the situations calls for it, for “nobody can separate us from the love of Christ.” The apostles accepted his invitation to follow him — and they immediately left their parents and other significant others in their life.

We know that it is not easy to give up persons and things — even if we have to do that for the Lord. It is no surprise that today many consider commitment a dirty word. They do not want to hear or be reminded of the word “comittment” . With comittment out of their vocabulary, the teachings of Jesus are not in their equation when called to action. They can easily change their lifestyle and partners in life. But if we are trully for God, we cannot do othewise but give to the Lord our comittment. For when you trully love, you give to your beloved your comittment.

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