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"Elijah set out, and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing." —1 Kings 19:19
Elijah called Elisha to be his disciple as Elisha was plowing. Jesus used this as a model of discipleship. He said: "Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God" (Lk 9:62). Disciples of Jesus are like farmers plowing. Discipleship is hard work. Disciples break up ground — first of all the ground of their own hardened hearts (see Ps 95:8). Disciples are often only beginning the work that will result in a harvest. Disciples must leave behind their former way of life (see 1 Kgs 19:20). They must burn their bridges behind them (see 1 Kgs 19:21). Disciples must subordinate even their family relationships to the ultimate relationship, the relationship with their Master, Jesus (see 1 Kgs 19:21).
When we were baptized and renewed our baptismal promises, we decided to be a disciple of Jesus. However, many baptized people have been uninformed or misinformed about the requirements of being disciples of Jesus. Others have refused to be Jesus' disciples in refusing to deny themselves and take up their crosses daily (Lk 9:23). They want to be Christians without being Jesus' disciples. They hope that being nice, good, church-going, prayerful, or law-abiding will be an acceptable substitute for discipleship. Nevertheless, Jesus insists that we be His disciples and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).
Prayer: Jesus, Master, I am Yours. May I make disciples who disciple many others.
Promise: "Say, 'Yes' when you mean 'Yes' and 'No' when you mean 'No.' Anything beyond that is from the evil one." —Mt 5:37
Praise: Joseph repented of returning to the practice of listening to too many radio talk shows and decided to return to his first Love (Rv 2:4).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999