Jesus chose his disciples to learn how to be his followers and how to give their lives in service of others.
Discipleship is the commitment to be selfless and to put other people before you. The commitment of discipleship may also mean losing your life for the faith, ‘Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it, but anyone who loses their life for my sake and the sake of the gospel, will save it.’ (Mark 9:34-37). In Mark 1:16-20 Jesus is choosing his disciples, Jesus says to Simon and Andrew, ‘Come after me and I will make you fisher of people.’ The message of this for modern Christians is to spread the word of God and to convert others to be followers of Jesus.Vocation is the belief that Christians have been called be God to be followers of Jesus, to be members of the Church and to make their pilgrimage on earth.
The responsibility of Christians to follow this belief is to do their part and serve God as lay people.In the past religious people were seen as more important than the laity, but since the Second Vatican Council this view has changed, now lay people have much more to offer in the world. ‘It belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs.’ (Bishops of the Second Vatican Council)All Catholics share the same task because of their baptism, ‘they should there neighbour and love God’, and the laity on the other hand is responsible for many tasks. The main tasks for the lay people in church is to join in the celebration of the sacraments, especially the celebration of the Eucharist, they may also read as Eucharistic ministers.
At home all lay people show their love of Christ through the way they treat their family, ‘the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness ….
.. and self-control’.
Lay people are also expected to pray regularly with family and individually. At work and leisure the tasks of lay people is to demonstrate the same qualities used at home with those they don’t know or even like. Lay people also have many tasks in politics, mainly to fight poverty, to aid poorer countries and to campaign about the injustice in the world. ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers, you did for me’ (Matthew 25:31-46)Lay people can apply Christ’s teachings to the problems at hand, for example they can speak out about problems such as violence or drugs. They can also help by aiding the problems at hand by donating money to charities or by going on missions to poor, underdeveloped countries. They can also defend through prayer or teach the faith through reading at church or doing missionary work.When Christians take on religious orders they make a ‘vow’ to God to express their love for God.
The word ‘vow’ means a promise made to God, it is an act of faith and a statement that they will always love God through the good and bad times.There are two types of religious order- Contemplative and Apostolic. Members of Contemplative orders live an enclosed life, away from society. Their life is dedicated to prayer and even though they don’t physically help the outside world, they do it pray for it. Where as members of Apostolic orders are active in the world. Unlike members of Contemplative orders they physically help others through missions to underdeveloped, poor countries, where they nurse the ill or sick and generally serve the peoples needs. Many members do work social work in parishes and so on in their own countries.
There are 3 vows a person takes when entering a religious order, they are poverty, chastity and obedience. Each vow taken is considered to make you closer to God; they believe God will provide you with the strength to obey each vow.The vow poverty means that members of a religious order have no personal possessions. Material possessions like a big house and car can distract you from God, therefore not being bound down by these possessions means you can totally focus on the work God wants you to do such as helping others and so on.The vow chastity means that any member of a religious order will not be married or have a sexual partner.
Similarly to the vow of poverty having a partner or family may take your focus off God and affect you work for God. For example it would be unfair to take a family abroad to help people living poverty, therefore you can’t do the work God wants you to do.The vow obedience basically means to be dedicated to God and the work you do for God. Members of a religious order must be committed to their work and must obey the authority of the leaders of their order.