Baptism is the beginning but not the end of the Christian life. We are called to grow daily in our knowledge and love of Jesus by allowing him to walk more closely with us in every dimension of our lives. The risen Christ does not reveal himself to the whole world, but to his disciples. The gospels are full of stories where Jesus takes his disciples apart to be with him, to be formed by his very presence, example, and instruction. Led by the Spirit of the Risen Lord, the members of Santiago parish have numerous opportunities at all age levels to learn from the Master.
From the cross, Jesus not only saves us, but he also teaches us. The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ by which, through his humanity, we encounter divinity. He calls his disciples to take up their cross and follow him (Mathew 16:26). The cross for disciples of Jesus often takes the form of service to others, agape. Indeed, at Santiago, our vision is that every member of the community be engaged in Christian ministry and service. Reflection on our service of charity in the light of scripture is an outstanding way of growing in discipleship.
The first disciples burned with the desire to proclaim Christ: “We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:20).” Today, we cannot help but to invite people to enter into the joy of our communion with Christ. By faith, across the centuries, men and women of all ages, whose names are written in the Book of Life, have confessed the beauty of following the Lord Jesus where they are called to bear witness to the fact that they were Christian: in the family, in the workplace, in public life, in the exercise of the charisms and ministries to which they were called.
From the beginning, Jesus associated his disciples with his own life, revealed the mystery of the Kingdom to them, and gave them a share in his mission, joy and sufferings. Jesus spoke of a still more intimate communion between him and those who would follow him. “Abide in me, and I in you … I am the vine and you are the branches (John 15).” And he proclaimed a mysterious and real communion between his own body and ours: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him (John 6:56) Catechism of the Catholic Church, #787). The interplay between liturgy, learning, evangelization and service is the paradigm by which members of Santiago grow together in discipleship.