Growing in Discipleship
Last week we heard of the young man who missed out on the Jesus experience due to his being unable to let go of his possessions. May I thank those of you who responded to the Gospel and chose to ask for the Jesus experience and now know for real how wonderful it is. It was exciting for me this week to hear from some of you of your encounter with Jesus.
This week we hear of two other disciples James and John, who too experienced for real an encounter with Jesus. They are so excited and so full of new energy that they want to get involved in the work of Jesus in a big way. Their encounter led them to want a big part in Jesus' s plans, they are not satisfied to have a small part but want to be big leaders having the top jobs in his operation. Their intentions can often be like ours when we have had a conversion experience. So full of the Holy Spirit are we that we want to be big players in the Church. James and John had to learn what a real disciple of Jesus is and should be and so do we in the life of the Church today. They confused leadership in The kingdom of Jesus with leadership in society. In business a leader takes control, tells other what to do and has a powerful status. Jesus has to put them right by showing them how his leadership works. His leadership is one of service that puts others first. His leadership is one of suffering for others, making ourselves available for other people, to be a person, who is a humble foot- washer, a volunteer for the menial jobs, walking with people in their pain and coming alongside them in their journey. James and John had to learn this and we often have to learn this lesson as we grow in being a disciple of Jesus.
Today we celebrate Mission Sunday and have the great example of missionaries who show us great examples of how to be a servant in the kingdom of Jesus. In recent times we have seen incredible acts of selfless generosity as missionary volunteers have rushed to help Ebola victims or bring relief to war torn areas. These are the real leaders of our Church, the ones who respond to the sufferings of others. If we want to be a real disciple of Jesus we have to learn the way of Jesus, the way of suffering for others. Today's readings call us to missionary discipleship. What place are we looking for in today's Church, are we an attention seeker or a seeker of easing a brother or sister's suffering? Can we learn from the mistakes of James and John and our own mistakes too.?