The Conditions of Discipleship

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39)

Every time I read this passage I reflect on its meaning. It is a tall order to be a disciple of Christ and that is the way it should be. Christ wants only the best representing him, defending his Church and his sheep, and dying for him.

Imagine how much greater the Church would be if all our clergy lived up to these requirements.  Image the quality of life in our world if all our public servants applied these principles. Imagine how peaceful, joyful, and prosperous our lives would be if all of us lived up to Jesus’ expectations.

As a U.S. Army veteran, I have immense respect for the Armed Forces elite units. They represent the best our country has to offer. Many soldiers feel called to be an elite soldier, but only those with the physical and mental toughness make the cut. Once in, they give it their all to defend our country. Why wouldn’t we expect the same from Jesus’ disciples? After all, his disciples are entrusted with defending the faith, the Church, and his sheep. Isn’t that more valuable than what any military elite unit stand for or accomplish?

Jesus wants committed disciples. Unlike exclusive military units, however, Jesus does not turn anyone away who wants to serve with him. We are already in; we can only work our way out. We don’t have to be the fastest, toughest, or strongest. We only need to say to him, “Here I am”, ask that the Holy Spirit show us the way and to give us the strength, and hope to carry on his name. We may fail at times, but we must never give up trying to be Jesus’ disciples.

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.

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