Thursday, August 20, 2009

Discipleship is YES to Holiness

Each summer two of the Brothers from the Province have travelled to the Solomon Islands to assist Bishop Chris Cardone, O.P. in his Diocese. Today's blog is provided by Brother David.

(Brother David is pictured above with Archbishop O'Grady.)

This past summer I had the opportunity and privilege to participate in Project MAST – Marianist Apostolic and Spiritual Training. This was the seventh year for this program of training that takes place in various provinces of the Solomon Islands.
(Bishop Chris blessed an outdoor cross above)
The main topics of my presentations involved the presentation of the Gospel of Matthew. This presentation involved explaining the background of Matthew and the audience for whom he wrote the Gospel.
(Brother David and Brother Timothy are pictured above with some of the participants in one of the Project MAST programs.)
In addition, there was the need to explain some of the major themes of his Gospel. There were two major ideas that held together everything that was said. First of all I explained what it means for each of us to be a disciple of Christ. The word disciple means: someone who is learning. We all must personally learn what effect the following of Christ should have on the way we live our lives from day to day. I used Mary as a marvelous example of what it means to say YES to Christ, the Church and the call to holiness.

The prophet Jonah is a wonderful story for the people in the Solomons. They are by location and need natural sailors. Jonah is a good example of someone who says NO to God. By the end of the story of this prophet we learn that he never says YES to God.

The second major idea presented concerned the word apostle which means: someone who is sent. The major thrust of that part of the explanation was that Christianity is twofold – First: we are individually called to have a personal relationship with Jesus; Second: we are also called to live that relationship in a community. That relationship starts with a person’s family when they are young. As a person matures this relationship with God can be active in the wider communities of one’s spouse and children, one’s religious community or in the Church as an ordained priest. The youth and teachers of the Solomon Islands who participated in these MAST programs were very receptive to our presentations.