by Cameron Daly
This reflection was taken from the Sunday Mass Readings of Mar. 22, 2015:
In the game “follow the leader,” the idea is to imitate exactly–or at least, to the best of one’s ability–the actions of the person designated as the “leader.” Put short, you’re supposed to do what the leader does.
Wouldn’t it seem kind of strange, perhaps even pointless, if all you had to do was watch the leader go through all of whatever he decided to do, and just sit there believing that the leader existed and that he did stuff?
Now, in most cases–when playing follow the leader–you have a certain amount of faith in the leader; you have enough faith in him to follow him, do what he does, and know that he’s not going to go jump off a bridge or something. Believing in someone even just to this extent is certainly different than believing only that the person existed or that he did something.
“Whoever serves me must follow me, says the LORD; and where I am, there will my servant be” (Jn 12:26). To be a “disciple,” according to my computer’s dictionary, means to be a “follower of [a] person or idea.” As Christian disciples, we all need to play a little more “follow the leader” with Our Lord–believing Him enough to trust Him to be our guide, rather than just believing that He lived, died, and rose again (which is obviously a very good thing to believe in itself, but to be a true follower of Christ requires still more). Because honestly, if we really believe in His existence and these deeds He has done, we should be automatically inclined to believe in His teachings and principles. Saying that we accept Him and love Him is one thing; truly accepting Him, as in allowing Him into our hearts, basing our way of life upon His example and teachings, loving and fearing His commands, and trusting in His wisdom above our own, is entirely another. Accepting Christ in word and in deed are both important, and every Christian needs to be willing to put both aspects of discipleship into practice.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21).
“Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me’” (Lk 22:19, emphasis mine).