Have you ever thought about defining discipleship for yourself? How do we truly follow Jesus Christ every day of our lives?
Looking into this deeper maybe you and I could put our own profession of faith in writing. Jesus defines discipleship when He says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Lk 9:23). The seriousness and depth of such self-sacrifice is brought home by the fact that Jesus says these words as He is about to begin His final journey to Jerusalem, and to His own Cross.
Jesus certainly found human comfort from the trust and delight He enjoyed from His Father. “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased” (Lk 3:22b). Secure in this exchange of love, He embraced any task, including the tall order of the mission of being “the Christ of God” (Lk 9:20). His true identity, however, is not so clear to the disciples around Him. When Jesus asks His closest friends to define Who He is by asking, “Who do you say that I am” (Lk 9:19)? It is only Peter who responds boldly with the perfect answer, “The Christ of God.” It is only then that Jesus begins to explain to His disciples what His mission as “the Christ of God” is all about. It’s not about being served, having power, or a seat of honor. Rather, it entails suffering, rejection, execution, and only afterwards, great victory! What is our identity? Do we thirst?
In our Responsorial Psalm we acclaim, “My soul is thirsting for You, O Lord my God” (Ps 63:2b). We will thirst for the Lord and will be satisfied “as with the riches of a banquet” (Ps 63:6). Each of us has a desire for God, a thirsting in our body and in the deepest part of our souls for the waters of life, which alone can bring peace and healing. Running water in the midst of the desert brings light, freshness, and streams of delight to a dry and rocky ground. Lord, may we long for You, trust You, and rest in You always.
Jesus is the Christ of God and we, knowing ourselves to be children of God, are called to follow and believe in Him. St. Paul tells us that we come to a deeper understanding of who we are and find our true identity through our identity as baptized Christians, who have been clothed with Christ!
Increase our thirst, Lord, that we may intensify our search for the fountain of life!