“I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life.”
Disciples of Jesus are recognizable by their choices. Moses stood on Mount Nebo and challenged the Israelites to choose life or death. The rest of the Hebrew Scriptures chronicle their choice. As Catholics, as Christians, we must make the same choice. We must choose Jesus, choose to follow him, become his disciples committed to follow and spread his teachings …become in the words of Paul, other Christs. (Galatians. 2:20)
There are many admirers of Christ, but far fewer disciples. Admirers find it difficult to make the step to discipleship which is often thought to be unrealistic for those who live “in the real world.” Of course that is precisely where Jesus’ disciples must live. Discipleship is not asceticism, except for a few. There are those called to the eremitical life or to be missionaries, but most of us, clergy and laity alike, are called to witness Jesus to our family, our neighbors, our co- workers and friends.
That is where choices come in. The Christian Family Movement has popularized Joseph Leo Cardijn’s mantra of See, Judge, Act, adapted from St. Thomas Aquinas’ reflection on prudence. I find it a good guide to making Christian choices. To see means to observe, reflect and consult on elements of our society. It means rejecting at face value hearsay or claims of the media or radical voices and seeking an objective view to try to see with the eyes of Christ.
In judging we again take counsel, seek to determine how gospel values and Sacred Tradition (not custom or popular opinion) apply to the situation or incident to form an inspired Christian opinion considering the circumstances.
Finally, and most importantly, we should take appropriate action based on informed judgment. This is not a difficult process. Most of us do it automatically many times a day in circadian situations. The important key is to include gospel values and considered outcome in seeking a proper judgment.
I congratulate the many disciples who try hard to make proper judgments and I ask you to join me in praying that more admirers of Jesus will choose life and become His disciples.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Face_of_Jesus_in_art#mediaviewer/File:ChristandThorns.jpg)