Discipleship

Following Christ – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Following Christ – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Towards the end of Luke 9 we are told that Jesus’ “set his face toward Jerusalem.” It is, according to Green, a phrase that evokes an austere determination to go to the very place where he would suffer rejection and ultimately [death]…But he did not go to Jerusalem to die; he went to fulfill with the whole of his life the divine purpose, which was to bring life, healing and redemption to the whole of creation (see Hebrews 12:2).

We are all called to set our face towards to Jerusalem—to seek to fulfill the divine purpose through the whole of our lives…But we do not do so for the sake of death; we do so for the sake of Life, and Abundant Life, at that.

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Called to Companionship – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Called to Companionship – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

The truth is, we will all fail to obey Christ fully and fail to love others in the ways in which we are called to love them—sometimes in minor ways, other times epically. But at the end of the day, it is neither our successes nor our failures that determine our witness to Christ and his unfailing love. It is our relationship with him, for we cannot share whom we ourselves don’t know, nor can we give what we ourselves don’t have. To this end, it is striking that there is no apparent role given to the apostles at this point to distinguish them from the other disciples. They are simply to be “with” him, for the whole foundation of their ministry rests on this companionship: on identifying with and being shaped in relationship to Jesus’ life and mission.

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Put Out Into the Deep! – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Put Out Into the Deep! – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

This is what he wants for all of his disciples, to draw us into complete reliance on and trust in him. He wants for us to put out into the deep, to leave everything behind and surrender our whole lives to him—our hopes, our dreams, our wounds and weariness, all of it—in order that give all of himself to us. And in order to do that, he very often has to poke and prod at precisely those areas where we are most wounded, most weary. But he does not do so out of callousness; he does so out of love, so that he might pour his unfailing love into those areas of our lives and we might experience his abundant life.

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A Driving Passion – A Meditation on John 7:16-18

A Driving Passion – A Meditation on John 7:16-18

Jesus is the man I was meant to be, and am not yet; but by God’s grace, I can be…

So, how can we become what we are meant to be but are not yet?

We must lean into it and ask God’’s help… We must begin consciously seeking God’’s glory and doing his will in every situation and not give up until it is the very thing we most want to do in life. We will fail, but we must repent, be forgiven, and try again in the firm assurance that, by God’’s unfailing grace, we shall become who we were always intended to be: – those who from the heart say, “”My food is to do the will of him who sent me and accomplish His work”.”

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Transformed by the Word – Fifth Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Transformed by the Word – Fifth Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

“The followers of Jesus seem to have discovered, as early as the day of Pentecost, that when they spoke to people about Jesus something happened. It wasn’t just that people were interested, or that they decided either to go along with the message or reject it. It was that the ‘word’ seemed to carry an energy, a power, beyond the mere ‘words’, remarkable though they were in themselves. It was as though when the ‘word’ was spoken, something like a blood transfusion was taking place in some at least of the hearers. They found themselves gripped by it, transformed by it, rinsed out by it, given a new sense of the presence of God. (NT Wright, Early Christian Letters)

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Joy and Suffering – Third Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Joy and Suffering – Third Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

This may be a hard word but it is a good word and one which I am confident God wants us to embrace…Peter says, “you may have to suffer various trials so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and honor and glory.” Of course the testing here is not a test to see if you or I pass or fail. Rather it is the sort of test, like an athlete’s endurance trials, that is meant to strengthen and purify what is already there.

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Chosen and Destined by God – First Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Chosen and Destined by God – First Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

…Christians are to be, as has been said so often, in the world and for the world, but not of the world. The fact is that it is the Christians’ very difference from the world that is their great contribution to the world. We are not meant to fit in but to stand out (in a good way) and, by doing so, become “the salt of the earth and the light of the world”. (Matthew 5)

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The Path to Perfection – Second Reading in Preparation for the Second Sunday in Advent

The Path to Perfection – Second Reading in Preparation for the Second Sunday in Advent

What is it that we should be striving for and which is his good pleasure to work within us? Paul gives more than a hint as he tells the Philippians what he prays for them. First, (and it must always be first) he prays that their love may increase ever more and more…
Second, he prays that they may increase in knowledge and discernment; that is, in their understanding of right from wrong, truth from falsehood, good from evil, value from vanity. The prayer is that they may see all things as God sees them and so know their true worth.

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Called to Prepare His Ways – First Reading in Preparation for the Second Sunday in Advent

Called to Prepare His Ways – First Reading in Preparation for the Second Sunday in Advent

“…though his ministry was unique and unrepeatable in salvation history, St John the Baptist is also a type for each and every Christian in our relationship with those who do not know or follow Jesus yet. Like John, we are to prepare the way for Him to come and for them to receive Him by helping to remove barriers and obstacles to other’s belief so that they might be open when He comes to invite them to follow. We do this primarily through representing Him with “gentleness and reverence” (I Peter 3:15) in our interactions with others and by demonstrating God’s love in tangible ways with each and every person that we meet. We are to point to Christ and not ourselves, and to always being ready, when asked, “to give a reason for the hope that is in [us]”. (Again, I Peter 3:15)”

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In Search of Perfection – Gospel in Preparation for the Solemnity of All Saints

In Search of Perfection – Gospel in Preparation for the Solemnity of All Saints

The Man on the Mount embodies the Sermon on the Mount. Everything he demands, he has lived himself. Think of the first beatitude, “blessed are the poor in spirit” and remember “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant”(Phillipians 2: 6-7). Or the third, “blessed are the meek” and remember he said, “Come to me , all you that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.. for I am gentle (meek) and humble of heart “ (Matthew 11:29). Or the last, “blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you” and remember “they spat on him and took a reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him… they led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:30-31).

He not only teaches, but he leads the way. He is, as the writer of Hebrews says, the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2)

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