We’ve been hearing a lot about discipleship recently. Last week we heard what happens when we are faithful to the call in the story of Peter casting the nets and pulling in a great number of fish. This weekend we heard Christ speak about the cost of discipleship. Today we hear about the calling of the Twelve, but if we listen closely we also can hear the small whisper of thankfulness for having been called to follow as disciples. Listen again to those words of St. Paul from our first reading that follow the list of sinful practices formerly done by them:
“…That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves wash, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
These beautiful words of Saint Paul really get at the heart of discipleship.
Every one of us is a sinner. We all have a history, a list of things that we probably should not to have done. And yet each one of us is still called by God to become a disciple of Christ. We have had ourselves washed, sanctified, and justified by the waters of baptism, the forgiveness of confession, and the Body and Blood of Our Lord in the Eucharist. What we were matters no longer, for what we were has been washed away. All that matters is what we are. And what we are is God’s beloved children, sons and daughters called to a loving relationship with the Lord Jesus, called to be disciples who would follow Him as a lamb follows a shepherd.
What loving and merciful God we have, what a blessing we have in His forgiveness, and what a great gift each of us have received in being called to follow as His disciple. In that face of these things, how can we help but be grateful?