We have been, through our journey together this Lent, looking at how baptism calls us to be disciples who give a good example to those learning the faith from us: the adults preparing for baptism and the children who were baptized as babies. Our final element is one of the most important for Christian life – after the example of Christ, we are “to practice the love of neighbor, even at the cost of self-renunciation.” (RCIA, 75) A true disciple gives until it hurts. We are asked to love even those who may not love us, who are not our friends or family, who are strangers – whenever they are near us and in need, they become our “neighbor.” How do we do this? We are called to die to our own desires, so that we may do the right thing for others when they are most in need. Like Lazarus, we will then live.
This concludes our Lenten exploration of our baptismal call to be disciples. Next week, we follow Jesus through his Passion to the Cross, the grave, and to the Resurrection at Easter. When we renew our baptismal promises at the liturgies of Easter, may we be more truly disciples of Jesus Christ – and may those who are baptized and formed in faith in St. John’s community always see the fruits of our discipleship and learn from us.
Joyce Donahue, for the St. John’s Liturgy Planning Committee