Today as we celebrate the memorial of St Lucy, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (21: 28-32) in Jesus tells the story of two sons. One who refuses to work in the vineyard as his father asks but changes his mind later and goes; and, the other, who agrees to do so but does not go at all.
Fr Paul continues to read from the ‘Heart of the Disciple’* resource for our daily reflections which asks us to consider the following:
The term ‘disciple’ is not one that we all instinctively apply to ourselves. Understandably, we can think of it as describing the first twelve companions of Jesus and we are tempted to limit the term to them and to consign it to history. While aware that there are complexities with our being the disciples of Jesus, each of us is called into a discipled relationship with him.
Where that relationship starts is indicated in the Gospel chosen for today. It begins with having hearts and minds that are open to Jesus. In this, we are to be like John the Baptist – we are to prepare for his coming, even though he is already with us. John shows us the path to true discipleship, and what it means to turn the will and the words of God into action.
Having hearts that are open to the presence of Jesus can be hard. His message can get lost in the busy-ness of the world. And yet it begins simply enough: We are to pay attention to the reality of what is happening within us and around us. It is all there. That is a significant part of the point Jesus is making in today’s text. He simply points out to those who are questioning him that we can see what we are looking for, if we would just choose to see it.
The problem is, ‘seeing’ in this way challenges who we are and what we are comfortable with. It is much easier to refuse to look. Here, Jesus challenges us to see what is in front of us and to allow him to transform us in response to that. The hearts of the tax collectors and prostitutes are transformed to become hearts of faith, hearts that look to the will of God. That is because they know their need. It is a risky thing to be open to reality in this way. Having hearts that are open to God is this way will change who we are and what we do. Are we prepared to take that risk?
For our reflection and discussion, Fr Paul invites us to consider, today, perhaps I could spend time in prayer, so that through an ongoing and deepening relationship with Jesus, I will truly become his disciple. Pope Francis describes this encounter as God’s love blossoming into an enriching friendship. “We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being” (EG, 8). This is the path to true discipleship.
And today we pray:
you call me into friendship with yourself and you invite me to walk with you this day.
Give me a heart to see who you truly are and what you are doing in and around me, so that I might stay close to you always. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
*published by Evangelisation Brisbane
Excerpt from ‘Heart of a Disciple’ produced by Evangelisation Brisbane, https://evangelisationbrisbane.org.au/adventplus/