Have you ever watched a colony of ants working together to build their nest? Actually, all the other ants would build the nest and gather food for the Queen ant. They are committed to a sole purpose, following the “will” of the Queen. Doesn’t it sound like discipleship? Of course, we know that ants don’t have a choice and all their actions are based on instincts. But for the sake of argument, let’s say ants have a choice like what we see in cartoons. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know that all those ants chose to serve their Queen?
The same could be said about Jesus’ Twelve. They chose to follow Jesus all the way unlike the other “disciples” who walked away (John 6:60-69). The Twelve chose to be the Disciples of Christ. Their sole purpose was to follow Jesus as Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God”. A disciple would be one who follows and is committed to the will of God, who depends on Faith and does everything out of love and for love. To help better understand the role of a disciple, this is a list of values to familiarise yourself with.
The same could be said about us too. Where do you stand, more towards discipleship or volunteer? It is surprising that many people still “label” themselves as a volunteer. “I volunteer as an altar server in my church” when Jesus is actually calling us to have a deep relationship with Him. We should no longer “label” ourselves as volunteers but as disciples. We do not volunteer ourselves to serve God in our ministry/community. We have made a choice to serve God, each in our own way. Each of us have said “YES” to God and not a “maybe”. Sacrifice and love comes along with that “Yes”, with Christ as the centre in our lives.
As we would have heard from last Sunday’s readings, Jesus wishes for us to be one with Him following the will of our Father (Gospel, John 17:20-26) and just like Stephen staying true to the name of Jesus to the very end (First reading, Acts 7:55-60). These are words and examples of discipleship. The role model for us is Jesus himself, the one who was true in His ministry all the way. So the next time someone asks you, “Why do you volunteer in Church?” your answer should be “No, I’m called by God to serve in Church as His disciple.”
It is HE who gives us the strength to keep serving even in our darkest hour. It is HE who is always by our side to help us when we fall. It is HE who “helps us to pull strings” so as to carry out our ministry (Fr Chris’ homily on 4 May; 6pm). He has done so much for you and is still willing to do much more, are you being true and pure in your intentions to serve God and His Church? Discipleship or Volunteer?