In the Bible, Jesus is always asking people to come follow him. What does it mean to follow Jesus?
I suppose it has meant a lot of things to a lot of different people over the years. For St. Francis of Assisi, it meant giving up everything and fixing up a dilapidated church. For St. Rita, it meant praying for her mafioso sons to convert, even if it meant dying young so they could go to Heaven. For St. Theresa of Calcutta (aka Mother Theresa), it was leaving the safety of her convent to serve people on the streets of India. It meant martyrdom for some, and many hardships for others.
In fact, Jesus tells us the way should be hard; that his way will be perilous. He tells people to carry their crosses, and to be of service to others. He blesses the poor and the oppressed. He mentions storing up treasures in heaven instead of on earth. He talks about not judging, of being merciful and tolerant. He insisted that the marginalized not be the target of our own greed and pride.
In return for the hardships of this life, he promises us a life of sharing in the divine; of being one with him and the Father.
In reflecting on all of this, maybe each of us should ask – am I doing enough? I think the answer will always be, I can always do more for Jesus. I do not owe him anything for my salvation, but he does need me to help bring others to him. He needs each of us to be him for others.
Spend some time today reviewing your own definition of discipleship. Spend some time in prayer asking God what you can do to better fulfill his mission here on Earth. Ask him to help you be open to what he is calling you to do. Thank him for all that he has done for you, and ask how you can bring light to someone’s darkness, even if it causes you discomfort or pain.