Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

Once again, we have lessons that are intended to help us understand how to be a disciple of Jesus — what it means to follow Jesus. To put this in context, it’s good to remember from the last couple of Sundays what our scriptures have been teaching us. Last Sunday, you may remember, the first lesson was from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The prophet proclaims, “God has taught me, so I speak as God’s disciple. I know how to sustain the weary. Morning after morning, God wakes me up to hear, to listen like a disciple.”

We try to listen to God’s words and try to understand what it means to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus, and then of course, commit ourselves (if we choose to be a disciple), to follow his way. A couple of Sundays ago, Jesus in the Gospel in instructing his disciples wanted them to understand that he had come not simply to heal this person or that person, but to transform our world. He had the mission to proclaim the good news: The reign of God is at hand. It’s here for us to enter.

That Sunday, we also listened to Isaiah giving us a beautiful description of what the reign of God is like, the fullness of life that comes. Let the wilderness and the arid land rejoice, the desert be glad and blossom. Covered with flowers, it sings. The desert sings and shouts with joy adorned with the splendor of Lebanon. My people see the glory of God, the majesty of our God. The prophet proclaims, “Give vigor to weary hands, strength to enfeebled knees. Say to those who are afraid, have courage, do not fear. See, your God comes bringing justice. And there will be fullness of life for every person. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed. The lame will leap as a hart, and the tongue of the mute sing and shout.”…

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