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The Challenge of Being a Follower of Jesus

[caption id="attachment_1916" align="alignright" width="200"]Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA[/caption] What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? What was Jesus’ life and teachings about? How do we truly live a life that speaks to the ideals of equality, justice, compassion, and mercy that Jesus practiced in his life and time? Can we be bearers of Jesus’ message to love one another and treat others as we desire to be treated? How can we emulate Jesus’ ideals for us in our personal, social, political, and economic life? The message seems clear to me that if we purport to be followers of Jesus, we are called to be champions of justice for all, to be people of compassion to all, and to not turn a blind eye to the poor and marginalized. We are to open the doors to a life of hope for others. That is what Jesus would do and what Jesus did in his time. We must do the same in our time. We proclaim at Mass that we are one Body in Christ and if we believe this tenet, then we need to support the Body through our actions. In Galatians 3:28, we are told that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” A poem by Susan Polis Schutz in her publication, One World, One Heart, which addresses beautifully and poignantly seeing ourselves as one Body, follows here for your reflection:
We all hear the same sounds. We look up and see the same sky. We cry the same tears. Our feelings and emotions are the same. All mothers are sisters. All fathers are brothers. All children are one. Yet there is hate. There is violence. There is intolerance. There is confusion among people. We don’t try hard enough to understand each other. We don’t seem to realize that we all have the same basic needs, no matter who we are or what part of the world we come from. We must understand the difference among us and celebrate the sameness. We must make the world a place where love and friendship dominate our hearts. Equality, respect, compassion and kindness must guide our actions. Only then will we all be able to peacefully and lovingly live the life we each choose.
As Dominicans who seek to unfold a future of hope, one of the community’s chapter commitments is "to be women of peace who promote justice through solidarity with those who are marginalized, especially women and children, and work with others to identify and transform oppressive systems.” May we go forth boldly as peacemakers, building bridges that provide opportunities for living justly where all can share in the abundant life that God desires for each of us. If you feel drawn to commit yourself to be a woman of peace, why not join us! Become a messenger of hope and begin exploring the religious life by contacting one of our vocation ministers.

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