Newry Parish Bulletin Sunday 27.02.22 | St Joseph's Convent Primary School Newry

Newry Parish Bulletin Sunday 27.02.22

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Newry Parish Bulletin Sunday 27.02.22

Dear Parishioner,


The word ‘disciple’ (as we commonly use it) can be a very slippery word.  We are apt to make it simply the equivalent of ‘follower’ and then we think of the followers of a sport or of a football team.  A follower might be very intense, even obsessive, in her or his following, or might be someone who just drifts with interest in someone, some group or some idea: it is up to you or your level of interest in what you are following. Another word likened to disciple/follower is ‘devotee’: this is someone who is very interested in someone or something, but there is an element of fun or hobby about it.  The devotees are ‘into’ something because it is of interest and amazement - or simply amusement to them..

Discipleship must involve something sterner: disciples must speak up for the poor, the oppressed, they have been persecuted for their claims about the name of God, they have had to speak up for peace and justice, and, more recently, a responsible attitude to the material creation.  So, getting a better grasp of what it means to be a ‘disciple of Jesus’ is important , because it is a lot more than just being a religious groupie.

The Gospel this weekend talks about a teacher and a fully trained disciple.  One would want one’s house wired by a ‘fully trained electrician’ not by someone who liked fiddling with bits of wire and screwdrivers.  Likewise, we all want fully trained physicians to treat us when we are sick and even the hint of a lack of training swiftly brings a lawsuit, but do we have to take following the Lord that seriously?

So, if we think of following Jesus as entering an apprenticeship, what sort of skills should we be picking up, and what training regime should we expect?  The Gospel reminds us that we are called to become ‘fully trained apprentices’, the tradition of our community is full of wisdom on how we can become trained.  Jesus reminds us the ‘the good person draws what is good from the store of goodness in his/her heart’, but to start as an apprentice is a serious decision.


God Bless


Canon Francis Brown

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