Friday, August 20, 2010

Associates or Disciples?

"And you will say, 'We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.' The he will say to you, 'I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers.'" Luke 13: 26-27

So often people want to be associated with Jesus, don't they? Rappers wear gold crucifixes. Religious symbols are everywhere on Lost. Athletes thank Jesus for their victories. "In God We Trust" is all over our money. And the Untied States is one of the most religious countries in the world with the vast majority of people saying they believe in God in poll after poll.

We hear about Jesus in country music, on TV shows and from the pulpits all across America. And don't forget about all the bumper stickers, badges, T-shirts and fish decals. It's all about the fish decals.

Some people even go to Church or Mass on a regular basis and some teens are involved in their youth groups and attend retreats and conferences and rallies--all about Jesus. But when we are confronted with this Gospel passage from Luke and really think about our own lives and our own involvement in the things I've mentioned above, we have to ask ourselves: are we disciples of Jesus, or merely His associates? And it's an important question, because it appears from the passage above that being an associate doesn't cut it.

Think about the associates of Wal-Mart for example: they wear uniforms, they all gather in the same location day after day, they have rituals and even songs and chants. It's almost religious in style. But are they willing to die for Wal-Mart? Do they love Wal-Mart? No. They are associated with it, but that's as far as it goes. They're willing to put some effort into it as long as they are getting a little something back, but that's it. There's no total commitment.

So, where do you stand in your relationship Christ today? Are you a disciple who loves Him with your whole heart, soul and mind? Are you willing to follow Him wherever He leads? Would you die for Him? Or are you content just being associated with Him sometimes?

Jesus gave His entire life for us so that we could be His disciples, not His associates.

Dear Jesus, give me the grace to desire a true relationship with You. Help me to be Your disciple and not merely an associate of Yours. Help me to love You in return for how You love me. Amen.

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