Alan Schreck, Ph.D., is a professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has written several books on topics including Church history, Vatican II, and Catholic renewal. His latest, "Jesus, What Catholics Believe," is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about Jesus: his humanity and divinity, his teachings, and his actions in his own lifetime and in our lives today. What we believe and our expression of it is critical, Schreck explains, since Jesus is the source of human salvation and because he commissioned us to proclaim his message to the world. The author's main sources are Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, with frequent references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He also reminds us that the most important way to get to know Jesus is to become his disciple.
Chapter 4 addresses the challenge of discipleship, beginning with gospel stories of invitation such as the parable of the wedding banquet. Schreck writes that all are called to the kingdom of heaven, but admission is not automatic. As the Church teaches, humans are free to choose belief over unbelief, good over evil, and virtue over sin. Schreck writes of the way of discipleship, including faith, repentance, and purity of heart. The cost of discipleship involves taking up our cross; dying to our desires and goals; and practicing poverty, chastity, and obedience. And the reward of discipleship is eternal life.