2.7 Catholic discipleship
Followers not just admirers
The meaning of Catholic Discipleship
The centrepiece of Catholic life and mission in Broken Bay Diocese is the call to Catholic Discipleship. It calls for an individual commitment realised in active membership of the Catholic Church, demonstrated by love, compassion, hope, reconciliation, transformation, prayer, respect for life and a desire to bring about justice for all.
The disciple of Jesus does not merely mimic the words and actions of Jesus, but becomes one with him; “… it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) In being one with our risen Lord we act and are motived to act by a desire for the realisation of the Kingdom of God. The call to discipleship is a call to authenticity and integrity we find in the person of Jesus. The response to this call invites an ever deepening knowledge of Jesus, through studying and praying the Scriptures and through our participation in the life and mission of the Church guided by the Holy Spirit.
The response of the disciple is the response to God's love revealed in Jesus. Jesus himself tells us that we must love one another as he has loved us. In his actions and parables he gives examples of what that love looks like in action: reaching out to those in need; identifying with the marginalised; complete self-giving - even unto death.
St. Paul breaks open the meaning of love for us:
"Love is patient and kind; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hopeand to endure whatever comes.” (1 Cor 13: 4-7)
The Church and discipleship
Jesus invites each of us individually and uniquely to respond to his call. Our response also brings us into communion with all who respond to his call. It brings us to the community of the disciples of Jesus, the Church.
The Church is present and active in and through the many and varied ministries by which the gospel is spread to all and the Kingdom of God is realised. Throughout history and throughout the world, the Catholic church has been concerned with education, culture and welfare as inseparable from preaching the Word of God.