By Father Frank Hernandez
A disciple is someone who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of a teacher or master. Being a disciple means that you are a student of another. You are learning the ideas and opinions of that specific person and those ideas start to influence your own thinking in life. After some time, we finish being a disciple and we are sent out to teach what we have been taught by our teacher.
We hear many stories in the gospels of Jesus calling His disciples. We have the twelves, Matthew, James, his brother John and Peter to name a few, but we also hear Jesus call others, “take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24).” To follow means we become disciples and we listen to His teaching and try to apply them in our lives. Yet, after spending time with the teacher, we too are sent out to apply what we have learned. And Jesus does send His disciples to preach and teach His message in the gospels. At the end of Jesus’ story, His disciples now spread the message they are taught since Jesus returns to heaven and commissions them to continue His teaching.
As people who believe in the person of Jesus, we are His disciples. We learn His teachings, understand the miracles and see how we can develop our own faith in Him. The same message received by the first disciples is the same message we teach today in our lives. All of us as believers and baptized in the name of Jesus are called to share His message in the world. But in order for us to share His teaching, we also need to be taught His message. As children we are taught the faith by family or another person. We try to understand how I fit in the message and faith in the person of Jesus. And after years of being taught the message of Jesus, we are sent out to preach the gospel to the world. We are commissioned as disciples to being the Good News to our family, friends, work, school or any where we live our lives. Preaching Jesus the best that we can because some of us can do a good job of sharing the message of Jesus, others may struggle a little, but we need to trust that Jesus, our teachers and others are here to help us.
Being a disciple today in 2021 and in the world is hard. People are drifting away from the faith, but we have to try harder and follow Jesus, no matter what obstacles we face in our lives. Being a disciple is not easy, but when we do have a struggle; are we quick to leave our discipleship or do we try again? All of us have and will fail as disciples, but Jesus still wants us to be faithful to Him and His message no matter what obstacle we may face in our daily lives and follow Him.