“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples” (John 15:7-8).
             In this last verse of the Gospel reading, God calls us all to be his disciples, in order that we may become fruitful. This calling seems very simple at first, as it seems like a win-win. Trust in God, and He will give you all that you want. But if you look at the lives of the apostles and of those in the early Church, it was anything but simple. In the first reading, we see Paul, who was just recently converted by God, wanting to join the other followers of Christ. But the others were afraid, because they only knew of his past; as Saul, who persecuted Christians. But Paul willed God’s will, and upon his conversion, he went to various other towns, speaking boldly in the name of Jesus. Again, this was not simple. Becoming a disciple and establishing the early Church took a lot of courage, and he risked his life to uphold the truth. But in this act of courage, Paul bore fruit. He became the forefront of bringing the faith to others, and established the Church in places such as Antioch and Corinth. He became a saint through his act of faith, and his writings serve as a blueprint for missionaries and theologians alike.
             To be a disciple means that you are called to bring others to the faith. We are called, through our sacramental union with God, to live out His commandments, to love one another, and to spread the joy of the Gospel. This does not mean it’ll be easy, however, especially as students on a college campus. In this secular culture, we are called to be different, to break societal norms, and to live joyfully. Just as Paul faced chastisement, we will also face criticisms for our beliefs. At times, it may also seem simpler and more enticing to live as others are living. But we are made for more. Jesus calls us to remain in Him, just as He continually remains in us. It is through this Theodoconfidence that we will bear fruit.
             As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nothing in the world is worth doing unless it means effort, pain, [and] difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” True joy comes from trusting in God and gaining a greater understanding of the Sacraments. He is the vine, and we are the branches. That joy of living out God’s will for us surpasses any cheap pleasure one may choose to partake in, and the struggles form us closer to Christ. It is through this decision of becoming a disciple that will turn the heads of others and lead us all closer to Heaven. There, our faith will flourish.
             “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples” (John 15:7-8).

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