As we ended the Year of Mercy, many of us traveled this journey of hope and were transformed during this pilgrimage. The apostles in their walk with Jesus were physically able to first-hand witness His unconditional mercy. Those who wanted to hear words of encouragement and hope from Jesus’s lips followed different paths. These lessons caused a transformation in their thirsty hearts and a conversion in their lives that turned them into Jesus’ disciples.
Today, you and I are called to be disciples; although not from that time, we are united by the same love of Jesus. Before we continue talking about disciples, we need to understand this word, which comes from the Latin discipŭlus that means, according to the Spanish Royal Academy, ” A person who learns a doctrine, science or art under the direction of a teacher.” So in our case, we are “pupils” of the Master par excellence. Like all good students, we are transformed as we learn the lessons of the “Good News”, which cause a radical change (total or complete) in us, and are manifested in our actions, words, and treatment of others. In this way we can succeed in imitating our Master, “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as He did” (1 John 2: 6).
We can then understand that in order to be radical disciples of Jesus, we have to undergo a total transformation in our lives in order to be missionaries proclaiming His gospel as He entrusted to us, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). So let us follow Jesus as disciples (students, followers) suffering a radical conversion (total or complete) in fulfillment of His will. The V Encuentro invites us to be disciples and to live an ENCOUNTER with Jesus in order to be transformed and “Walk as He Walked.”
Let’s go forth and make a way!
By Joel Rodriguez
Diocese of Fort Worth, TX