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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 Mt 10:37; 1 Kgs 19:21).
When we were baptized and renewed our baptismal promises, we decided to be disciples 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 hope that being nice, good, churchgoing, prayerful, or law-abiding will be an acceptable substitute for being a disciple of Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus insists that we be His disciples and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). He has given us Mary and her Immaculate Heart to help us in our discipleship. Mary tells us: "Do whatever He tells you" (Jn 2:5). Let Mary help you be a disciple of her Son.
Prayer: Jesus, Master, I am Yours. May I, like Mary, 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: A parish named after the Immaculate Heart of Mary frequently holds services featuring eucharistic adoration, praise, and Marian prayer that are attended by many.
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2009
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