The passion for simply abiding in the company of Jesus is the very heart of discipleship.
When Jesus one day showed his Apostles how to bring in an overwhelming catch of fish, Peter's reaction was to fall down at Jesus' knees and exclaim: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. But Peter's reaction was very different on the occasion when Jesus presented himself to the world as the Bread of Life and many found the teaching difficult and began to turn their backs on him. As the Lord pointedly asked the Twelve, Will you also go away? Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. These are indeed the two apparently opposite impulses that define the essence of discipleship: on the one hand, the consciousness of one's utter unworthiness to abide in the presence of the holy God and, simultaneously, one's desperate need precisely to abide in that presence, only source of lasting life and joy….
The passion for simply abiding in the company of Jesus, the need continually to be with him in every sense of that verb, is the very heart of discipleship.
Father Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis. "Coming to Jesus." excerpt from The Way of the Disciple (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003).
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Ignatius Press.
Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Theology from Emory University. His areas of interest include liturgy and liturgical texts, Georg Trakl's poetry, the Gospel of Matthew, French and German poetry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Greek and Roman classics, and Dante. He is the author of Fire of Mercy: Heart of the Word, a two-volume commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Love's Sacred Order: The Four Loves Revisited, and The Way of the Disciple. He has also translated numerous works for Ignatius Press.Copyright © 2003 Ignatius Press
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