To be a disciple of Jesus means to be like a sheep which is as smart as a snake and innocent as a dove (Mt 10:16). This is impossible because sheep aren't smart. Therefore, to be Jesus' disciple is naturally impossible. It can only be done by God's grace. To be Jesus' disciple sometimes means to be persecuted and rejected by church, government, and family (see Mt 10:17-22). To be His disciple means to suffer and die because of our love for Jesus, our Master.
When we pay the extreme cost of discipleship, we can react in one of two ways. We can feel the Lord is expecting the impossible and begrudge Him the total gift of ourselves. We "say, 'What a burden!' " (Mal 1:13) Conversely, we can react with joy and excitement. We can consider it a privilege to pay the cost for something so expensive. People in the secular world usually rejoice when they buy something very expensive. They even rejoice in giving up everything to become a professional athlete, a success in business, or a celebrity. Why shouldn't we Christians rejoice much more in giving up everything to pay the cost of discipleship? We should be like Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, and St. Benedict, and gladly leave behind money, job, career, possessions, and relationships to be disciples of Jesus.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2008 through July 31, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008.