May 13, 2018
"Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”
God is Love, 1 - December 25, 2005
I am continuing a three-week preaching series on conversion and discipleship. Part of the reason for this is to help us realize the radical nature of being a disciple. As Pope Benedict XVI described it above, being a Christian is much more than we often allow it to be. The pagans who heard and believed Peter’s preaching received the Holy Spirit which led to their baptism and a new life very different from their old ways.
This is the nature of significant, intimate relationships: they changeus. We discover we can be more generous than we imagined, we want to do things we previously avoided, and our priorities change. I will talk a bit about this in my homily today, and the thresholds we cross as we move towards giving our lives to Jesus. These thresholds include:
Initial Trust– in God, the Church, a community or person of faith
Spiritual Curiosity – about Jesus, primarily. Sometimes this is an awareness of possibilities they hadn’t imagined or experienced before.
Openness to Spiritual Change– a challenging threshold to cross which requires a lowering of defenses.
Seeking a relationship with God– an active exploration of a relationship with Christ and His Church that calls for resolution. During this time the basic message of Jesus mustbe preached with words.
Becoming a Disciple of Jesus– “acceptance of a personal relationship with Christ, a sincere adherence to him, and a willingness to conform one’s life to his. Conversion to Christ involves making a genuine commitment to him and a personal decision to follow him as his disciple.”
National Directory for Catechesis, p. 47,48
Discipleship is the beginning of a new journey, requiring education in the faith and formation for mission!