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Discipleship Requires a Choice to Follow Christ

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,

Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"

Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

Discipleship requires a choice to follow Christ. Following Christ demands sacrifice in imitation of Christ. What Jesus asks of his disciples in this passage is to trust in Him. After the whole discourse on the Bread of Life, after performing miracles before them, it is only those who have spent serious time with Jesus who can accept Him as their Master. They have staked their lives on Him, come what may. They are fully invested in following Jesus even though they do not yet fully understand where Jesus is leading them. Jesus had already given them a great gift of Himself by spending three years of life together with them. This shared life allowed them to trust Jesus with their lives.

Discipleship is our loving response to Jesus’ self-gift. We, too, need to spend serious time with Jesus if we are to accept Him as our Lord. We need to trust God, and that requires knowing God. I fear the greatest hurdle for many of us in spiritual growth is lack of time invested. We treat Jesus as someone who we can check in with briefly when we feel like it, then we complain that He hasn't changed our lives. If we want to become disciples in more than just name, we must be with Him frequently. Only then can we grow in understanding, knowledge, and love of God. Quality time spent with Jesus will foster trust and faith in Him.

Peace in Christ,

Father Matthew Kuhn

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