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"Journeys to Discipleship Through the Lens of Four Essays"

Nguyen Thi Mien, L.H.C. (Vietnam)

Master of Arts in Theological Studies with field of specialization in Biblical Theology
Adviser: Sr. Mirasol Navidad, R.S.C.J., Ph.D.


Missionary discipleship is a call and a mission of all baptized, a member of the church, the body of Christ and the disciple of Jesus. We are called to continue Jesus’ mission in this world. The four Biblical texts Mk 1:14-15; Lk 6:20-26; Jn 19:25-27; 20:1-2, 11-18, and 1 Jn 4:1-6 provide a paradigm for us on how it is to be a disciple through: following, seeing, witnessing, and giving testimony.

This study aims to exhibit how to carry out the missionary discipleship in different ways in order to respond to the call of the church to discipleship. Specifically,the first essay focuses on the discussion of the inauguration of the kingdom of God in Mark 1:14-15. It attempts to bring out the understanding of what the kingdom of God is about and a vision of how to be a disciple of Jesus. The study of the text showed that the kingdom of God is not a worldly or a geopolitical kingdom, but it is in and through the person of Jesus since He Himself is the embodiment of the kingdom. Jesus proclaims the kingdom of God through his words and deeds, teaching in parables, healing the sick, and performing miracles especially for the poor and the marginalized. The second essay examines the Beatitudes (or blessings) and their eschatological reversals. The Beatitudes express the teaching of Jesus to His disciples as a core value message of living life grounded on love and justice. The study clarified that the teaching of Jesus in the sermon serves as a warning to His disciples and to us not to cling to temporary things since nothing is permanent in this world. The third essay explores the image of Mary Magdalene as a woman disciple of Jesus who fulfills her mission of proclaiming the message of the resurrection to the male disciples. It showed the importance of clarifying her role, thereby recognizing the role of women in the life and mission of the Church. The fourth essay aims to acknowledge and discern the spirits: the spirit of God and the spirit of antichrist, the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. By discerning the spirits, we deepen our faith and fulfill our mission to live discipleship in the here and now.

These results suggest that the call of missionary disciples is to follow Jesus in His life and mission, the only way by which Christians can live out their discipleship.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: 11 November 2020 (Wednesday)

Board of Examiners: Fr. Herbert Schneider, S.J., S.T.D., Sr. Ma. Anicia Co, R.V.M., S.T.D., Ph.D. and Sr. Niceta Vargas, O.S.A., Ph.D.,

Proposal Defense:

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Loyola School of Theology