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

I think we can gather from our listening to the Scriptures this morning that the message today is about being a disciple of Jesus — our call to follow him — and maybe some of us are somewhat like Elisha. We say yes, but then we hesitate, and we’re not so sure if we really want to be this disciple of Jesus. But if we listen carefully and turn to God for help, I think we can leave the church today with a firm commitment to be disciples of Jesus, which could mean radical change in our lives.

I think we get a better understanding of today’s Scriptures if we remember last Sunday. Remember where Jesus challenged the disciples: “Who do people say I am?” and they said, “Well, some say you’re Elijah or John the Baptist,” and so on. Then he said, “Who do you say I am?” and Peter said, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God,” and we were asked to make that same proclamation. Jesus is saying to each of us, “Who do you say I am?” and if we answered Jesus by saying, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God,” well, then, we know this is the one we should follow. “You are the Messiah” — but then there was a danger that they would misunderstand, and they did.

Jesus begins to tell them, “Look, if you’re going to follow me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” He told them, “I’m going into Jerusalem, and there they’ll hand me over to my enemies. I’ll be scourged, tortured, executed, and then rise on the third day.” Remember what Peter did? He said, “No, no, you don’t have to do that.” I’m sure he was thinking of Jesus as a Messiah like David the king, and he had all the followers by this time…

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2 thoughts on “REFLECTION: It is not easy to be a disciple of Jesus

  1. This is a challenge I take seriously. I cannot do it if I condone violence and war. I pray I can follow Christ. Can I? Can we?

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