In his book, Divine Renovation, Father James Mallon explains that the origin of the word "disciple." In Greek, the word "disciple" is mathetes, which is derived from the verb manthanein, meaning "to learn. Thus, to be a disciple is to be a learner. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, Father Mallon explains that this involves being engaged in a lifelong process of learning from and about Jesus the master. Dave Nodar, the Executive Director of ChristLife, explains it this way: "To be a disciple of Jesus today means to not only profess certain views about Christianity, but apply the teaching of the Lord Jesus and his Church to every aspect of our lives (24/7)." (emphasis added). From the word "disciple" is derived discipline. The learning process is not accidental. There is an intentional element to being a disciple. It involves a choice to follow Jesus.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9:36-37.
Have you ever considered yourself a laborer for Christ? Dorothy Day was the co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement and was a true laborer for Christ. She urged that along with the works of mercy, feeding, clothing, and sheltering our brothers, we must also indoctrinate and give reason for the faith that is in us. If we do not, Day stated that we were scattered members of the body of Christ and not all members of one another. Christ calls us to reach out to others and to help with the harvest. Day said that keeping our religion to ourselves makes it an opiate for us alone, for our own comfort and individual safety. This certainly goes against the culture, where the expectation is that religion is something private and should not be a subject of public discourse. The harvest is all around you. Will you answer the call?