The story is told about a man who, in painting his house, tried to save on costs by mixing a lot of thinner with the paint. One night heavy rain came, and washed away the paint. Seeing what had happened, the man resolved to repaint — and to thin no more.
Repent, and sin no more. That is the condition of Jesus to whoever wants to become His true disciple. In today’s Gospel (Jn. 12, 20-33), Jesus clearly teaches us that discipleship is all about losing one’s life, and preserving it for eternal life. It’s all about turning our back on sin, and turning to Jesus as our personal Lord and Master.
Discipleship is not so much about knowing Jesus as getting to know Him personally. Furthermore, discipleship is not so much talking about Jesus as talking with Him. The heart of discipleship is the heart itself.
Discipleship is servanthood, humble servanthood. We miss the point when, too preoccupied with our functions, we forget to be a gentle presence to the people we serve; too focused on our positions that we lord it over others and forget to care; and too engrossed in our programs and projects that we forget we are dealing with persons who have feelings and reasons.
A grain of wheat falls and dies, and it produces much fruit. It is when we die to ourselves, to our personal agenda and desires, that we really become fruitful. It is when we let go in humility that the power of God becomes real in and through us. Let us be reminded that discipleship, service, or servanthood is not about us, but about Him.
Humility is the key to true discipleship, and servanthood and humility can only be learned in heartfelt listening to God in prayer. A disciple who knows how to kneel humbly before God knows how to serve His people humbly.
Pilgrims to Israel learn the joyful song “Hava Nagila” and soon, Filipino pilgrims sing “Haba ng pila!” because of the crowds of people lining up to see the different pilgrimage sites, particularly the Nativity Church and the Holy Sepulchre. It is a lesson in patience, and joyful sacrifice, which are very important traits of true discipleship.
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday already, the beginning of the Holy Week. You are all invited to our traditional family recollection at the Meralco Theater sponsored by the Mission Angels. The theme for this year’s recollection is “Be Not Afraid, for I am With You” (Isaiah 41:10). Confessions start at 8 a.m., followed by a recollection, then the blessing of the palms and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
The sharers are TJ Manotoc and Eli Tiglao. Some of the participants are the Oasis of Love Music Ministry with Veia Lim-Viñas, Cocoy Laurel, Denise Laurel, David Laurel, Dr. Edgar Unson, Adele Joaquin, Ivy Violan, Lucky Robles, Froilan Canlas, The Angelos, and the XVDs. Admission is free. Live broadcast is via PTV 4.
“Be not afraid” is a timely reminder to all of us on the personal level. It is also a powerful reminder to us as a country and as a people that God is in complete control of everything and of everyone. The powers that be, and all those who sow seeds of fear and destruction, will sooner or later be gone. Goodness triumphs in the end. Let us hold on to that promise of our Lord. And yes, He is with us always, through it all.
Do you have a Master? Is there someone you are following? Is there something or someone greater than yourself that you are living for? Fools are those who are so full of themselves and who think that life is all about themselves.
Think about this: “True disciples are those who encourage others to go on even if they themselves have experienced failures and falls; who continue to give joy even if they themselves are in pain; and who hold on firmly to God precisely because they have nothing, and no one else to hold on to in this life.”
A moment with the Lord:
Help us, Lord, to be Your true disciples, not just functionaries or hirelings. Amen.
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