Growing up in a Catholic household my parents made sure I knew all the tales of the faith.
Jonah and the whale
David and Goliath
Moses and the Pharaoh
And of course Jesus Christ and His Passion
As a kid and still today I loved these tales because they were the greatest drama's created. The hero who ran from the challenge to inevitably take up the task, the underdog taking down the enemy, the man who overcame all odds, and the hero to lay down His life for the sake of others. These missions, these quests enamored me. I kept looking forward to when God appeared to me, to give me some amazing task that others would look to for ages to come. Little did I know He already tasked me with a mission. He tasked us all with a mission.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and know, I am with you always, to the close of the age. -Matthew 28:19-20 RSV
You might be wondering "Stranger on the internet, what are you talking about? That was a mission that Jesus gave to the disciples."
To which I would say, you're absolutely right! This is a mission that Christ gave to His disciples. So what is a disciple then? A quick google search would tell you that a disciple is a student or follower. And as Christians, we are followers of Christ. (You see where I'm going with this huh?) But like our faith is more than just the following of God just as the og disciples we have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. This relationship is rooted in having a personal relationship with Christ, that leads us to become more like Him, and share our faith with others. We are all called to discipleship. Just as we are all called to relationship with Christ. This growing relationship with Christ that springs from your discipleship will change you. You will imitate Christ in your thoughts, words, and actions. By growing in relationship with Christ you will begin to live as Christ did and be an example But how do we do this speaking to Him in daily prayer, participating in Mass, receiving the sacraments, and seeing Him in other people.
for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' -Matthew 25:35-40 RSV
The call to care for others and see God in them isn't always an easy thing to do, but I also think it's not as complicated as we think. In my own life, I so often look back to how others showed me, God. Coming into college my faith mattered some to me, but it was in finding a community that together desired to grow in holiness that I truly fell in love with Christ. Having people who loved me, and cared for me in such an intimate and genuine way transformed me. It stirred me to action. It led me to a deeper understanding of the Father who loves each of us the way my friends loved me. This realization shook me to my core and led me to change how I saw others around me. I wanted to do what my community did for me, for others.
In doing so I took an active role in being a disciple of Jesus. I shared the love He had for humanity in a tangible way for those I encountered. This was more than just being nice to people though, by showing others an authentic joy that springs from your relationship with God you become an instrument in creating Heaven on Earth. This change within you brings joy to your life. This transformation will be seen by others and they will desire that joy you possess and You can invite them into the open arms of God who desires to know each and every one of His children.