In Regnum Christi, we often speak of being an apostle but so often others in the Church tend to focus on the word disciple. For a while I thought they were the same thing but recently I’ve come to see how the terms are different and both useful.
Working out the in the field I see that many others have things to offer and we can mutually enrich each other. I was listening to another talk about the importance of discipleship. I thought, “hey this sounds like apostolate.” But then he pointed out that a disciple is one who is taught by another, one who chooses to learn deeply from another.
Apostle on the other hand means one who is sent. In classical Greek it meant either a boat sent or an ambassador. It specifies being sent “apo” from another; an apostle could not send himself.
To be an apostle, I need to be a disciple. Yet an apostle is beyond a disciple.
We need to learn at the feet of Jesus before we go out as those sent by him. No leader would send someone who doesn’t know him as his ambassador; he might cause problems, to say the least. An apostle who is not first a disciple is a fraud.
When we look to form ourselves, to develop virtues we need spread Christ’s Kingdom, we should never forget the keystone of that whole process: being a disciple of the good Lord. Being a disciple goes beyond learning the Catechism or memorizing the Bible. A disciple takes his way of life from the master, not just his teaching. Christ’s way of life must be our model as disciples.
If we really adopt Christ’s way of life, we can become true apostles. Christ sends all Christians. Being a disciple is but the first step for being an apostle. This applies to all Christians but especially those of us in Regnum Christi who have taken on the apostolic lifestyle this charism implies.
Be an apostle! Be a disciple first!
PS: If you do youth ministry, you may like a similar post I made on ProjectYM.com.