Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: The Way of the Disciple by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis

The Way of the Disciple by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis

This slender volume is a meditation on six gospel passages as they relate to discipleship. Each passage brings out a different nuance or facet. The author goes through them in rich detail, noting little bits that would slip past a casual reader. For example, when blind Bartimaeus is cured by Jesus, Jesus tells him that he can be on his way. The gospel simply reports that Bartimaeus then follows the Lord. But Jesus's words are not a command to follow but invitation to do whatever he wants. Bartimaeus could go back to his family or start a new life with his new vision. But he chooses to follow Christ freely.

Following Christ is not an easy path to take. The challenge for disciples is to point the way to Jesus for others without seeking personal glory. Often, the task is filled with hardships and letting go of worldly things. The good news is that the love inspired by God in us (grace) makes these acts easier to do if less understandable to the secular world. Mary, the Mother of God, is the crowning example of discipleship. She carries Jesus to others (even physically) but does not seek her own glory. She mediates between men and God precisely in pointing them to God as the one to be obeyed and loved. Likewise we are called to present God to others, abandoning ourselves to His will and His love.

The Way of the Disciple is an inspiring and challenging book.

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