While we refer to ourselves with many titles – Catholics, Christians, Chicagoans, suburbanites – we don’t often call ourselves disciples. Yet all those who follow Jesus are, in fact, his disciples. A disciple is a learner, someone who walks with Jesus and learns His way. When we pray in our homes, attend Mass, read the bible, serve the poor – we are deepening our discipleship.
As disciples, we have an opportunity to share our faith with others – one of the most fundamental imperatives in the renewal of our Church. By sharing our faith and our great joy at being followers of Jesus, we bring more people into a life-giving encounter with our Lord and His Church.
Through our baptism we are not only called to be disciples, people who learn and walk with Jesus, but also MISSIONARY Disciples, those who are so filled with the joy of Christ that we can’t help but share that joy with others!
As disciples of Jesus, the responsibility for the renewal of our Church belongs to each of us. While this can feel overwhelming or intimidating, we are not alone on this journey. We encourage you to pray the “Renew My Church” prayer and ask for guidance. Here is how it starts:
Lord Jesus, you speak to us today, as you spoke to holy men and women who have gone before us. In every age and in our own time, you call to us and say: Renew My Church. Pour out the gift of your Holy Spirit upon us.
Take 10 minutes to reflect upon and answer these questions as you consider your journey of discipleship:
1. Do I seek a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and what does that look like?
2. Do I contribute toward the mission of my parish and help build a faith community that reaches beyond our church walls?
3. Am I comfortable talking about my faith and my relationship with God?