How To Be His Disciple: A Children’s Homily by Deacon Jim Hyatt

Photo by Rey Spadoni

Who wants to be a disciple of Jesus? Me too! Jesus had twelve disciples, right? Peter, James, John, Matthew, Simon, Thomas, Nathaniel, Andrew, Philip, Batholomew, Thaddeus and Matthias. They were lucky… they got to live and walk with Jesus, and they got to see all of his miracles. But most of all, Jesus was like their special teacher because he taught them everything about God his Father.

So, how did they become disciples? Jesus asked them to follow him, and they did. Do you remember the story of how Jesus called his disciples to follow him? Well, some of the disciples were out fishing all through the night and didn’t catch any fish. In the morning they were bringing their boat back to shore when they saw Jesus for the first time. Jesus told them to throw their nets back into the sea one more time, and they caught a ton of fish! 

They were amazed and decided to follow Jesus. They did what Jesus said, caught a ton of fish and became his disciples. 

After that, Jesus taught them about the Father and how to please God so that they could be his disciples forever… and they did what Jesus asked.

In the reading from today though, Jesus tells his disciples he has a new commandment for them: to love one another. If the disciples do that, if they love one another, which means to love all people, everyone will know that they are his disciples. Everyone will know they are his disciples because they can see them loving and being nice to everyone. And guess what? We can be his disciples too! That’s good news!

How do we do that? How can we become his disciples? We are already doing things to become his disciples. 

  • We come to Mass every weekend which is making us his disciples
  • We are being good and telling the truth which is making us his disciples
  • We are helping people in need which is making us his disciples

But his commandment to us today to love one another is worth more than all of these other ones combined. That’s how important it is! If love is part of who we are, then we are his disciples.

So, let’s think about this. Are we doing what he is asking of us with this new commandment?

  • Do we love our parents? Check
  • Do we love our brother, sisters and grandparents? Check
  • Do we love our friends? Check

Alright, that is good! But what about those people who we do not like all that much… or those who are difficult to love? How do we love them?

Maybe that love looks a little different. Maybe we can….

  • Smile and be nice to them no matter what = love
  • Don’t say mean things about them = love
  • Be their friend = love

Can you do that? Can we love even those who are difficult?

So, let’s make that our goal this week, to find one of those people who we find a little hard to love and… smile, be a friend and say nice things about them. That is love, that is what Jesus asked, that’s what his disciples do.

I give you a new commandment: love one another… as I have loved you.

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