Mercy Word of the Week
The Mercy Word of the Week
As we progress through the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, University Ministry offers our community a "Mercy Word of the Week" to help us focus on the themes of mercy that are already so closely aligned to our mission and heritage as an institution sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.
The first Monday of each month will bring a brief reflection on each of the University's Core Values as expressions of our Mercy charism. We hope these focused thoughts will lead to your own considered contemplation on mercy and its role in your life.
Discipleship: From childhood, most of us were told not to be "followers." Make your own way; find your own path; lead, don't follow – is what's typically heralded by motivational speakers. But when you look at the devotion with which we follow cultural heroes like star athletes and star performers, you realize that "following" is very much part of our way of doing things.
Jesus asked certain individuals to "follow" him and those who said yes became his disciples. Discipleship, at its simplest, means assuming the role of a "student" in relationship to a "teacher." We "follow" the teacher because of what they have to give us – knowledge, insight and skill. Choosing well when we choose our teachers is a critical life skill that can impact the direction of our lives.
Following Jesus is a risky thing because what he teaches and the skills and insights he imparts can lead us into trouble. Why? Because those who follow him may end up embracing values that others often reject. Values like standing up for the underdog; like rejecting the notion that money and success are the highest values; like embracing the Beatitudes and accepting the wisdom that life is not about us, that the last will be first, and that considering others as more important than ourselves is not turning ourselves into doormats but living the gospel's most heroic virtue.