Discipleship Written in Stone

Bp. Mark J. Seitz            III B 2015 Discipulado
25 de Enero, 2015          La Purisima, Socorro, Santa Teresita Mission, Pdr. Yermo

I feel sorry for the family of Jonah.  I feel sorry for the family of Simon and of his brother, Andrew; for the family of St. James and John and for their father, Zebedee with whom they worked.  I also feel sorry of the family of Mary when she received the call of the angel, Gabriel.

Jonah left his family immediately after he was call by God and began to run the other way.  You are familiar with the story.  When he was saved by a giant fish and spit out on the land he decided to follow God’s call and preach to the people of Nineveh.  Thanks to his preaching the city was saved.  But…what happened to his family during their time without a father?

The Gospel tells us that Simon and Andrew, James and John, “Immediately left their nets and followed” Jesus when he called them.  But what about their wives?, their children?  What about Zebedee—what happened with them?

Mary was a young girl around 14 or 15 years old when the angel came to her.  Her life was changed radically from that day forward.  Her “yes” had implications for all the days of her life.  Without understanding anything except that she had been called to be the Mother of God through the working of the Holy Spirit, she left her childhood and left with Joseph to whom she was betrothed.

Each of the people in these examples experienced definitive changes in their lives when they accepted what they understood to be the will of God.  Did the resist the call?  You bet they did!  Jonah ran in the other direction.  Peter and the other disciples left Jesus alone in the garden on the night before his Pasion.  Mary, without doubt, had questions, but in a way that distinguishes her from all the Saints she always reflects and accepts what happens with love and fidelity.  One day she held her beloved son in her arms as a baby and in what must have seemed like the next moment she held her adult son in her arms following his Passion and Death

In all of these cases we cannot avoid the conclusion that those who follow the Lord as his disciples are called to put aside other concerns, even those commitments that may be good and important, for the sake of responding in a way that without reservations, without conditions, to the call of God.

It seems many times as though the activities that fill our daily lives are essential, as though all our life depends upon them.  But when we reflect a bit more we realize that there is really only one thing that is important—that we do the will of God in every moment—because “this world is passing away.”

And now we come to a question we must all ask ourselves: What type of disciple are we going to be?  In a few minutes we are going to see in person an exact replica of a work of art that is, in the opinion of many the most inspirational single piece of art in the world.  We can learn much from the Pieta.  In this great work we will witness Jesus who is resting at the end of his great work after his Pasion, waiting for the moment of his Resurrection.  And we see a mother, sad, but youthful in her virtue, not one who despairs because she is full of hope.  Her face reveals faith and peace.

We have all received a call to serve the Lord.  Every Christian is called to serve according to his or her particular vocation.  The major part among us are called to marry and raise a family.  Others, in a more radical call, are intended by God to serve as Sisters, Brothers (Women and Men Religious) or priests.  But how can we do this?  By being Disciples of Christ who seek the will of God in every moment or by being disciples of this world who live for the passing moment?

Will we do it by putting aside the things of God to gain the world or by being people who receive everything as a gift from God to be used in the service of His people that we might gain a treasure in Heaven?  Are we going to be like Jesus and his mother, like the Apostles and martyrs looking for the will of God and accepting our sufferings along the way with peace and confidence, or will we run?  This is our decision.

I give thanks to God that, thanks to the discipleship of Richard and Esther Stewart and the parents of Esther in particular, because the donation they have made will serve to inspire the members of this community and all who visit for years to come as a record written in stone of the commitment to which every disciple of Jesus is called.

El Paso

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