Sometimes we think that to be a disciple of Christ, we need to attend church services regularly! But is God really impressed by the growing number of people who fill several mega churches?
A true disciple of Christ should try to live out Jesus’ teachings in a way that blesses others and gives them a chance to follow Jesus themselves. A true disciple of Christ is a person who has no selfish ambitions and lives in simplicity. A true disciple of Christ is a humble servant who does the will of God and shares his/her resources to help others.
In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” A true disciple should love God and love others.
In my opinion, my uncle Napoleon Saverias was a perfect example of a true disciple of Christ.
Napoleon Saverias was born on 17 February 1948. He was the 6th child of 7 children to Antoine Saverais and Mary Saverias. His father passed away when he was still a very young boy.
As a young boy, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. He never allowed his illness to stop him from trying to live a normal life. When he grew up, he was determined to find a job and work. Due to his medical condition, there were only a few jobs that accommodated his medical needs. He put his heart and soul with the work he did and he was never concerned about prestige and position. Despite the little that he received, he had a generous heart and he was never hesitant to share with others.
His faith was strong and he would always make an effort to attend church services. Unfortunately, there came a point when he was no longer able to work or attend church services; he was forced to remain at home.
Although he was not successful in the corporate world, he had a heart of gold that touched the hearts of many people; children loved him and dogs loved him! He was a man that was full of compassion.
As his illness worsened, his physical condition worsened. He would get seizure attacks regularly! At times, he had to sit on the floor to avoid unnecessary falls from a chair.
He never complained about his sufferings and he never had envy for those who were more successful in life.
He had spent his final years in a nursing home which is where he was sent to when his mother died on 31 July, 2007; she had cared for him for as long as she lived. He passed away on August 3, 2010 at the age of 62 years old.
Quotation from Ernest Paul, his nephew.
“Uncle Napoleon grew to be a real friend to me. Sometimes I would go and just sit there and listen to him talk about his world. I think I appreciated the visits as much as him. He was indeed a caring and gentle soul but he was also very strong and never bullied as much as some people tried. Some of my classmates and friends called me to express their condolences as they had in some way been a receiver of his kindness. I was stunned by some of his gestures when he himself had so little. He passed away with dignity. He never gave up despite his troubles; he never showed his deep sadness and never gave up on his faith. Christ had a true disciple in our uncle Napoleon.”
Luke 9:23 “Then He said to the crowd if any of you wants to be a follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me.”
Whenever, we want to complain about the sufferings (sometimes so minor!) that we have to endure in our life, let us look at role models like Napoleon Saverias and a few like him who are perfect examples of a true disciple of Christ.
This article is dedicated to my late uncle, Napoleon Saverias. May his soul rest in peace!