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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Characteristics of the Disciple of Christ

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.” Psalm 90:14

1. The disciples are called. Luke 5:11 illustrates this perfectly. God always makes the first move! Jesus approached the fishermen and invited them.

“You have not chosen me; I have chosen you…”Jn 15

Only after this invitation to discipleship does our decision intervene.

2. The disciples respond consciously to the call of Jesus. We are called; a disciple responds positively to the call. If Peter had not abandoned his nets and followed Jesus, he would not be a disciple. You can’t go on if you don’t make a choice! Leave any idolatry, to follow Jesus.

3. The disciple loves. This is the first sign of a disciple. The love of God and the love of others. Jesus says that others will know that we are his disciples because of our love for our neighbor (Jn 13, 35). It is the main commandment of God.

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

“The glory of my Father consists in that you bear abundant fruit, and thus you will be my disciples”Jn 15,8

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

5. The disciples are obedient. Go a little further into John 15 and you will find verse 14:

“You are my friends if you do what I command.”

Attention: we cannot be intimate friends of Jesus and be disobedient. And that obedience to God passes through obedience to his Church with which he became one: whoever listens to you listens to me, whoever rejects you rejects me.

6. Disciples listen and learn. In the Scriptures we constantly find Jesus’ disciples learning from him. They listen and then apply his teachings in their lives (or at least they try to). The life of a Christian disciple is a life of listening and learning throughout life, as we see from the early Church in Acts of the Apostles. We listen to him in prayer; we need to live in intimate relationship with God.

7. The 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. To be his imitators, as Saint Paul asks us.

“My sheep listen to my voice and follow me.”Jn 10

8. The disciples have their eyes fixed on Heaven. Our current life is not our definitive home. We have been created to live with God forever in eternal happiness. This heavenly home is determined by our decisions in this life. Heaven’s prize is a gift we must keep our eyes on. No one comes to the Father except through me.

9. The disciples carry the cross each day. Jesus said it this way:

“Whoever wants to follow me must deny himself and take up his daily cross and follow me.”Lk 9:23

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

10. Disciples make other disciples. Lastly, we have to do what Jesus did, which means “make disciples”. It was his last mandate and the only one that we cannot avoid fulfilling personally. Good news, a liberating experience cannot be silenced; it needs to be transmitted and shared with others.

Readings for the Week

Monday: 1 Cor 5:1-8; Ps 5:5-7, 12; Lk 6:6-11, or, for Labor Day, any readings from the Mass “For the Blessings of Human Labor,” nos. 907-911
Tuesday: 1 Cor 6:1-11; Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b; Lk 6:12-19
Wednesday: 1 Cor 7:25-31; Ps 45:11-12, 14-17; Lk 6:20-26
Thursday: Mi 5:1-4a or Rom 8:28-30; Ps 13:6; Mt 1:1-16, 18-23 [18-23]
Friday: 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22b-27; Ps 84:3-6, 12; Lk 6:39-42
Saturday: 1 Cor 10:14-22; Ps 116:12-13, 17-18; Lk 6:43-49
Sunday: Ex 32:7-11, 13-14; Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19; 1 Tm 1:12-17; Lk 15:1-32 [1-10]

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday: Labor Day
Thursday: The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Friday: St. Peter Claver
Saturday: Blessed Virgin Mary