Today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us of how Paul and Barnabas proclaimed the gospel and urged the Jews to remain faithful to the grace of God, but they rejected the gospel of Christ, so Paul turned to the Gentiles. Saint John in our second reading from the Book of Revelation tells us of the rewards for those who stood firm in their faith and belief in God, stating that God will shepherd those who have stood firm in Him, lead them to springs of life-giving water, and will wipe away every tear from their eyes. In our gospel reading from the gospel of Saint John, Jesus states “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” Hence my brothers and sisters, today readings reminds us of our call to discipleship, how to answer that call as well as the fruits of answering that call and standing firm in the Lord till the end of our lives here on earth.

As Catholic Christians, we are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ, so how have you answered that call to discipleship? Answering the call to discipleship entails saying ‘yes’ to God in thoughts, words and actions. Ask yourself today, have my thoughts shown my faith and belief in God? Have my words proclaimed God wherever I find myself? Have my actions exemplified God to others? St. Paul in the first reading turned away from the Jews to the Gentiles because they failed to say ‘yes’ to God in thought, word and action, so let us answer God’s call to discipleship by saying ‘yes’ to God in thought, word and action. Do we ever pay attention to the fruits of answering God’s call as pointed out to us today in the second reading from the Book of Revelation stating ‘God bless us, lead us to the springs of living water and wipe away our tears so as to have us dwell with Him in heaven. Have we let God take control of our lives, rather than trying to always be in charge or in control and tell God what to do or what we want done for us? Are persevering in our spiritual lives, in good works and faith so as to let the fruits of discipleship grow, mature and bear fruit in us and share it with others and show them who God truly is?

My brothers and sisters, let us pray in today’s Eucharistic celebration that our good Lord may open up our minds, spirits and souls, so as to better answer our call to discipleship in thought, word or action like St. Paul did and never stop preaching or living out the gospel of Christ. Amen.