Discipleship ( part 2) Retreat to SVD seminarians, Pune

So then what does the portrait of a disciple look like? Jesus has described it clearly when he says it is COSTLY, it entails SUFFERING and is calls for COMMITMENT.  It is not a matter of faith in Jesus but faith with Jesus. If you can’t count the cost it is better that you not journey down this road for this road is a hard one. It is a road that the devil will strew  with power, money and lust making our journey as seminarians and priests a very hard one.

So the question I raised earlier, I ask again. Are we fans, followers or disciples? In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus says you are the salt of the earth and you are the light of the world.   What makes us distinctively Christian? What makes us distinctively disciples? The question that Jesus poses to us is  this, if we lose our Christian distinctiveness, if we lose our discipleship, how can we be made Christian disciples again?

The text is taken from the Sermon on the Mount and clearly in 5:1, the opening verse we are told that Jesus is talking to His disciples. At the end of the sermon He will address all but the Sermon on the Mount is specifically for His disciples and for us.  He will also in this text make a distinction between the world and the disciple. He is not saying that one is better than the other but rather that one is different from the other.

Jesus begins with two statements of fact. He does not say you should be the salt of the world or the light of the world he said YOU ARE. So he gives us identity before behaviour. We know who we are therefore we know what we should do. Being salt and light is identity; it is what is true of a disciple. So Jesus is saying the world is not the salt or the light but the disciple is.

Perhaps Jesus is also saying that the disciple then, as a consequence, salts the world. The world is decaying and is being corrupted and salt which was used as a preservative to stop things from decaying is now used of the disciple; he/she is to be the agent that stops corruption and decay in the world. Also Jesus says, “you are the light of the world”, so He is also imputing that the world is dark and by implication the disciple is the light that pervades the darkness.

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