Kathy Bernard - Publisher

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and
preach the gospel to the whole creation."
- Mark 16:15

Will you accept the challenge of being a disciple for Christ?  Will you sow the seeds of faith to all who will listen? 

Many Christians shrink at the very thought of approaching strangers to speak about the Lord.  Even though He died to pay for the sins of us all, some of us feel uncomfortable talking about our faith.  But this is precisely what Jesus asked us to do as Christians; to lead others to belief.  One of the best ways to share our faith is by being a true example for unbelievers to see and want for themselves.  It opens the way to Salvation.  And something precious happens to us also because God strengthens us when we share our faith.   

Many times this picture we present to people by our actions draws them nearer because they will want to know "what is it about you that makes you stand out in a crowd?  What makes you different?  Why do you seem so content?   How can you look so peaceful in this world of uncertainty, worry, with the evil changes happening all over the world?"  "Why" they ask, " do you look so happy, so full of joy?"  This then will be your opportunity to share your faith. 

There is something within a Christian that people somehow can feel.  There is a STAMP of God within us that catches their attention even if they do not know what it is.  God sends each believer on a very special journey.  He may put an unbeliever in the path of one Christian and send another on different path for He wants all people to share the good news of the Kingdom.  For us today, a disciple means ALL who have received Jesus Christ as Savior through faith, have grown strong in the Lord, and is able to speak with personal knowledge and confidence to others about the bible, prayer and belief in our Savior Jesus.  And He gives everyone a precious gift of salvation and eternal life if they follow His Father's Word with faith.  This is what Jesus want us to share to all who are lost.

Don't be afraid like St. Peter in Matthew 14: 25-30  that reads,  "Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.  But Jesus immediately said to them:  “Take courage! It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”  Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.  Come,” He said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus." But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!" Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 

God will put doubtful people in our lives.  Through you, this can be their opportunity to come to faith. Tell those who want to listen about the special peace that Jesus will give.  Though belief, He will give them the eternal life He promises.  For us, as Christ's apostles, we will be blessed by bringing others to everlasting life; to encourage as Christ did for Peter.

Even in our Churches some of us take our places in the pews but keep a distance from visiting strangers, never offering a smile of warmth or a "Church family" hand shake.  We may sit there avoiding other Catholic Christians who may be weak in the faith.  Jesus Christ wants us all to come together, sharing our worshiping mass in God's House.  This encounter could become the start of being a disciple right there in the Church, giving an encouraging and welcoming smile, for we cannot know what the person seated next to us may be going through.  

All of us as Christian Catholics have been called to this discipleship.  It is not a suggestion or a maybe.  It is our Lord Who gave us this decree.  However, God does not force us to obey that call for He gave us free will.  But as Christians we must not hold tightly God's gift to ourselves as it is for sharing to all who will listen.  Jesus Christ wants us sow that seed of faith in everyone we meet.  Those who will not listen we must pray for, asking the Lord to open all hearts to His Word. 
When we evangelize to those who do accept Jesus, the Holy Spirit will bring them into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, adding clarity and understanding within their hearts and souls.  This, then, should be the goal of all Christians, for as the Lord sent His disciples to spread the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven, He has also sent us to do the same. 

Father Larry Covington, pastor at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Austin, Texas has this to say on discipleship:   "The Christian faith consistently provides a personal encounter with God and the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ shared with the world.  By virtue of our baptism, Christians are granted access to God through our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  Christians are called to share their faith. This process of sharing the faith with individuals and groups is the process of discipleship which Jesus speaks of in the Gospel of Matthew. 

Most Reverend Alvaro Corrada del Rio, S.J.,
currently serves as the second and current Bishop of Mayagüez , Puerto Rico, in a Pastoral Letter "The Following of Jesus -  Catholic Discipleship in the Diocese of Tyler" tells,  "My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: speaking on Christ, Jesus asked Simon Peter “Do you love Me?” and said to him, “Feed My lambs…Tend My sheep… Feed My sheep.  Our Lord puts the same question and issues the same charge to me, your bishop, the shepherd of the flock in East Texas. “Do you love Me?” is the question that I must answer for myself and, in turn, I must place before all of you in His name.  As Catholic disciples of Christ Jesus in the Diocesan Church of Tyler, each of us must answer for ourselves, “Do you love Me?” Indeed, this question is so powerful in its simplicity that it demands a response. We cannot merely remain silent or otherwise avoid giving a response, for “no response” is itself a heartbreaking answer to this most intimate question of faith and love. You and I must give an answer to Jesus, for the answer we give decides our relationship with Him. Our affirmative answer, His gift of grace to us, defines us as men and women of hope. Indeed, it charts the course of our very lives along the one path to holiness and happiness, the following of Jesus.
"....As your bishop and successor of the Apostles, I call you all to follow the way of the discipleship of Jesus in response to His call to holiness. Christ crucified and risen from the dead is our Catholic identity in East Texas and His way, our way, is the way of the cross.  Our rule of life, as His disciples, must include the revival of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in our personal lives, our families and parish life.  The way of the cross is the way to live a life of happiness and holiness more fully. Therefore, let every disciple of Christ in the Diocese of Tyler come to appreciate, practice, and more fully experience the way of the cross through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.   In the life of the Church, let these three powerful instruments of God’s transforming love become the catalysts for greater evangelization, charity, missionary zeal, material support, education, catechesis, faith formation, and vocations in the Diocese of Tyler."

In the following video link on discipleship, Fr. Satish Joseph, who is originally from India, explores what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ in this series of talks presented by Ite Missa Est, the adult faith formation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in Dayton, Ohio.  Please visit and enjoy!! .  Father Satish Joseph is Associate Pastor at St. Helen parish and at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.  He is also the founder Ite Missa Est ministries.


Father Satish tells, "I am from India. I can trace my ancestry back to 1823 and if I want, beyond that too. People find it difficult to connect my being Indian and Catholicism. Most people presume that I am a recent convert to Catholicism. In fact, as far back into 1823 my family was Catholic (Eastern Catholic). For generations, then, faith has been passed along with untiring zeal and passion. When I was a child, my father often repeated the well-known adage: “The family that prays together stays together....” If you want to read more, here is a link:  ......."

This world is not a playground where we indulge ourselves in self gratification.  It is a place to prepare for eternal life.   As an advocate for the Lord, there will be some people who will not agree with our religious beliefs, but as Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 10:14, "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town."   But those, who do welcome us, will see a vista of hope, of peace and joy, and a promise of eternal life forever, a life where there will be no more pain, no more disappointments, and no more dying, for we will live forever with our heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ in glory one day when this earthly life is over.

Share God's promises with others, and watch something beautiful happen to us too, for we will find that God has blessed us with a stronger renewal of our own faith.  Enjoy also the link below on Discipleship.

 "Go in­to all the world and preach the gospel to every
creature. He who believes and is bap
will be saved; but he who does not believe
will be condemned.”  - Mark 16:15-16




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