Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quote of the Day

In the 28th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, we begin to have Jesus instruct us on what it really means to be a disciple of His.

Now before [that] passage . . . Jesus said to the disciples, "If you want to be My disciple, you must be like a little child." He took a child and He put them right in the midst of the disciples. He said, "Unless you become like this little child, you can't enter into the Reign of God."

He wasn't speaking about the innocence of the child. We all have that sense of how beautiful and innocent a tiny baby is, and we rejoice in that. He was talking about the fact that in His time, especially under the Roman occupation, children had no rights. They were powerless.

So if you wanted to be a disciple of Jesus, you have to begin to be ready to give up any idea of domination over another.

We must do that individually. In our relationships there has to be total mutuality if we're going to be friends. In a marriage relationship, there has to be mutuality, not one dominating another.

That's very hard to do, but Jesus says that's what we have to do if we're going to be his disciples: give up this sense of power. We have to do that individually, but don't you think it would be important also for us as a community, as a nation, not to think that we dominate the world, that we have the largest army and spend the most on military equipment, forces and training than any other country in the world. Why?

Disciples of Jesus don't need weapons. They don't drive for power. It's a hard lesson, but Jesus says the other way to do it is through love.

That's the first thing He tells us, "If you want to be My disciple, you must be one who is willing to be powerless," like Jesus who said, "I, when I am lifted up," and He meant on the cross, totally powerless, "I will draw all people to Myself."

He never coerces. He never uses force or power. He draws by what Pope John Paul used to call the fascinating power of love. That's all.

That's hard, but that's part of being a disciple of Jesus.

— Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
"Love Fulfills the Whole Law"
The National Catholic Reporter
September 8, 2011

See also the previous PCV post:
Love and Rules

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