Discipleship in Tougher Times: Guest blogger Sr. M Kathryn Williams, pddm
Sharing Sr. Kathryn's column which is printed weekly in the church bulletin of St. Peter and Paul's Parish, Athlone.
"At a particularly difficult moment, when waves of negativity threatened to swamp me, some of my friends tried to help me snap out of it. Well intentioned, they gave wise counsel and offered various strategies for getting on top of it. Some tried a hearty and cheerful approach. Try as I might, I couldn’t put it into practice. More bad feelings! However, at my lowest ebb, one small phrase filtered through the fog. These strangely encouraging words imparted light and strength: “Kath, now more than ever, you are a real disciple.”
I remembered these words when praying today’s Gospel. Simon, Andrew, James and John know the thrill and challenge of being called by Jesus. Without doubt, they are filled with expectations of something new and wonderful. They will have expert training to equip them for their mission, they hold onto the promise of success and a rich catch. In particular, they meet this man Jesus, a captivating figure who has such attraction that leaving boats and broken nets and family doesn’t seem all that difficult.
Nonetheless, as they soon discover, discipleship of Jesus has many different faces. Not all faces are alike, nor are they all attractive. The most beautiful, however, often bear lines of wear and tear(s), low ebbs and tough times."
Pope Francis: "There is no holiness in sorrow! For as St. Paul said "Do not grieve like those who have no hope" (1 Thess 4:13).