Launching the reader into a scene with Peter and Jesus at the Sea of Galilee, Dr. Edward Sri begins Into His Likeness: Be Transformed as a Disciple of Christ (Ignatius Press, 2017) by discussing the way in which God accepted Peter’s imperfect offering and love — and transformed him. Sri continues to unfold this reality throughout his pithy work on discipleship. Drawing from sacred artwork and Scripture, Sri shows how authentically human the Apostles were, and how with all of their weaknesses and strengths, God continually invited each of them into an intimate relationship with Himself. Sri reminds us that, like the Apostles, we are each invited by God to be His disciples and to follow him.
Yet, what does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? Instead of luxuriating in a poetic description of union with God, Sri looks to the ancient relationship between rabbis and their disciples. The vivid image that Sri presents powerfully tugged my heart, as it called me to look at discipleship in a new way. Sri notes that in ancient times, disciples would follow a rabbi so closely that the dust from his sandals would cover them. The disciples would not only learn the doctrinal teachings, but immerse themselves in a rabbi’s way of life and holiness. Sri draws the conclusion that, as disciples of Christ, we are not simply supposed to be “fans” of Jesus, but need to intimately walk with Him and make Him the center of our lives.
Powerful quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, and various saints reinforce the Scripture-based discussion of discipleship that Sri presents, and a set of reflection questions at the close of each chapter make this book ideal for independent or group study. A few personal stories from Sri’s life illustrate his transformation in Christ, and the engaging tone of the text makes this work very approachable.
From showing the ways in which we need to seek healing in Christ to discussing methods in which to live as disciples, Into His Likeness brims with wisdom and truth. Sri calls attention to the fact that even if a person is attending daily Mass and praying for large amounts of time, he or she is not necessarily a disciple who has chosen to follow Christ wholeheartedly. This book challenges each of us to look honestly at our lives and see if we truly are centering our lives on God. Into His Likeness is not geared towards people who have “figured out” their spiritual lives; it a rich spiritual text directed to any-and every-Christian.
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Copyright 2018 AnneMarie Miller