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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Characteristics of a Disciple of Christ

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.”Ps. 63

Disciples are called.Luke 5:11 illustrates this perfectly. God always takes the first step! Jesus approached the fishermen and invited them.

“You did not choose me; I chose you…”John 15

Only after this invitation to discipleship does our decision come into play.

Disciples consciously respond to Jesus’ call. We are called, but a disciple responds positively to the call. If Peter hadn’t left his nets and followed Jesus, he wouldn’t be a disciple. You can’t follow if you don’t make a choice! Leave behind any idolatry to follow Jesus.

The disciple loves. This is the primary sign of a disciple. Love for God and love for others. Jesus says that others will know we are His disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35). It is God’s greatest commandment.

Disciples bear fruit. In fact, Jesus says that bearing fruit shows you are His disciple.

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples”John 15:8

The fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…

Disciples are obedient. Go a bit further in John 15 and you will find verse 14:

“You are my friends if you do what I command you.”John 15:14

Pay attention: we cannot be intimate friends with Jesus and be disobedient. This obedience to God includes obedience to His Church, with which He became one: “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me.”

Disciples listen and learn. In the Scriptures, we continually find Jesus’ disciples learning from Him. They listen and then apply His teachings in their lives (or at least they try). The life of a Christian disciple is a life of listening and learning. We listen to Him in prayer; we need to live in an intimate relationship with God.

Disciples follow Him. Our life of discipleship begins by following Jesus. We must do what He did. Love as He loved. Choose what He chose. Be His imitators, as St. Paul asks of us.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”John 10


Disciples set their sights on Heaven. Our current life is not our ultimate home. We have been created to live with God for eternal happiness. Our decisions in this life determine our heavenly home. The reward of Heaven is a gift we should keep our eyes on. “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Disciples carry their cross daily. Jesus put it this way:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”Luke 9:23

The cross of not being gods, of having a God and Lord to listen to and follow, to love and obey.

Disciples make other disciples. Finally, we must do what Jesus did, which means “making disciples.” It was His final command, and the only one we cannot personally evade fulfilling. Good news, a liberating experience, cannot be kept silent; it needs to be shared and passed on to others.

Readings for the Week

Sunday: Wis 6:12-16/Ps 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 (2b)/1 Thes 4:13-18 or 4:13-14/Mt 25:1-13
Monday: Wis 1:1-7/Ps 139:16-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-10/Lk 17:1-6
Tuesday: Wis 2:23—3:9/Ps 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19/Lk 17:7-10
Wednesday: Wis 6:1-11/Ps 82:3-4, 6-7/Lk 17:11-19
Thursday: Wis 7:226 8:1/Ps 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175/Lk 17:20-25
Friday: Wis 13:1-9/Ps 19:2-3, 4-5ab/Lk 17:26-37
Saturday: Wis 18:14-16; 19:6-9/Ps 105:2-3, 36-37, 42-43/Lk 18:1-8
Next Sunday: Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31/Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 (see la)/1

Observances for the Week

Sunday: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday: Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin; Veterans Day
Friday: Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
Next Sunday: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time