By Patrick Didonato
Anyone who has talked to Tom Nash, my uncle, for ten minutes, recognizes that he could have been a nationally known sports journalist. He has a remarkable memory and an uncanny way of talking about sports. But he took a different path.
Whenever someone asks him, “Why don’t you become a sports journalist? You’d be so good at it!” his answer has always been consistent: “Because, my talents could be better utilized for the Lord, for spreading the Gospel.” In essence, his “yes” to the Lord has led him to work for several Catholic resources such as EWTN, and to write a book entitled, Worthy is the Lamb: The Biblical Roots of the Mass.
This morning after prayer and exercise, I stumbled upon a little spare time. I sat down to watch the documentary “The Fab Five”. Famous sports writers like Mitch Albom and John Bacon were being interviewed and I thought to myself, “That could have easily been Uncle Tom. They have nothing over his sports knowledge and journalism. Why not him on that TV screen?” And that’s when it hit me: Because he surrendered everything for the work of the Lord – to spread the Gospel.
Matthew could have persisted as just a successful tax collector. Peter and Andrew could have continued as purely successful fishermen. You could make a job your meaning in life, and the world would love it. But Christ wants more.
The defining moment, the turning point, in any intentional disciple’s life is this: to lay it all down for the Lord’s work; to live entirely for Him, because He died for us. This is the heart of a disciple’s life. I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit blasted me with this truth (again). We have the incredible opportunity of fostering this realization with each other in i.d.916.
Likewise, this realization also made me beg the question: For the lay disciple, what is the difference between being just a great [insert a job title here] and working for the Church full-time? It’s not just one or the other, but rather, audaciously fusing the two in every aspect of our lives. That’s our mission as intentional disciples. That’s the work of i.d.9:16 – to grow together as we strive to incorporate our love of God and the call to build His Kingdom into everything we do—on and off the job! So I challenge you to bring a friend to the next Disciples’ Night.
One might innocently question the apostles’ fishing success like Mother Angelica did because, “they never seemed to catch any fish unless Jesus was around to help them.” Isn’t that the truth – we won’t catch any “fish” without the Holy Spirit at the helm!