Image by Sr. Mary Stephen
The gift of the Holy Spirit led the early apostles and disciples to a discipleship which transformed their lives and the lives of those who heard them preach and saw their deeds. We who have received the Spirit are called to nothing less.
Discipleship involves imitating the pattern of Jesus' life by openness to God's will in the service of others . Disciples are also called to follow him on the way of the cross, and to heed his call that those who lose their lives for the sake of the Gospel will save them. Jesus' death is an example of that greater love which lays down one's life for others. It is a model for those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice. The death of Jesus was not the end of his power and presence, for he was raised up by the power of God. Nor did it mark the end of the disciples' union with him. After Jesus had appeared to them and when they received the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:1-12), they became apostles of the good news to the ends of the earth. In the face of poverty and persecution they transformed human lives and formed communities which became signs of the power and presence of God. Sharing in this same resurrection faith, contemporary followers of Christ can face the struggles and challenges that await those who bring the gospel vision to bear on our complex economic and social world.
-Economic Justice for All, no. 47, US Conference of Catholic Bishops
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