Fifth Sunday of Lent: Carry The Weight Between the Mountains & the Sea


If there is a light, it will find you. Next week, there is going to be a major event for me and I hope that it will go smoothly because of the amount of effort that have been put in. I know that by placing it in God’s hands and surrendering all to him, his will can be done.

The gospel opens by saying, “Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”

Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.

“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die (John 12: 20-33).”

Dying to self is a concept that has been repeated throughout Lent and it is also the most difficult to do so because we do not strive to do the Father’s will. Gaining the Father’s honour means turning away from sin and cleansing ourselves spiritually.

Only then can we follow Jesus and become witnesses of service to him. Producing fruit starts from within where we make the conscious choice everyday to do so. In doing so, we can do more, but not to seek anything in return. Therefore, whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. May we always seek to follow Jesus and when he calls us, may we respond with an affirmative, “Yes, let your will be done and not my will.” Together we can carry the cross that has been marked on our foreheads since baptism and carry it in knowing that whether we can climb the highest mountains or raging seas, Jesus will always carry the cross with us, and beside us.

God Bless as we continue to keep this aspect in our prayers so that we can be of service and to follow Jesus, always.

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong



Third Sunday of Lent: Come Clean, Come Close


Weariness. These last few weeks, I have been putting my writing on hold because there are just too many things to do. Everytime I complete a task, another keeps coming up, and red flags , a sense of urgency captures my attention and I am thrown into the never-ending cycle of finishing that infinite to-do-list.

The gospel begins by saying, “Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there.

He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”

The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?”But he was speaking about the temple of his body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.

While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.He himself understood it well (John 2: 13-25).”

Often, the secular world tells us to maintain our physical appearance and to be drawn into the materialistic world of owning many of the latest items. We would gladly oblige, but this has also affected our spiritual lives.

The Father’s house becomes a mess and we all have the temple of God in us because we were created in his likeness and image. Sin and temptation has made us choose less than ideal actions and indulge in a reckless lifestyle. Jesus reminds us to get our things in order to better prepare for Lent and to make the best of our Lenten experience.

Jesus also reminds us about his impending passion and resurrection that by seeking reconciliation, we are able to find resurrection to new life. He calls us each to seek forgiveness and also to forgive others because life is short and as life is already full of worries and obstacles, we all could do with one less headache.

We all struggle in one way or another, but coming clean and being closer to Jesus should be that top of the priority list because it is not about the amount of zeroes in the bank account, or the number of material possessions that you own, and what matters is the relationship and spirituality in our hearts that will draw us to Jesus, because that is no greater joy and peace that the world can offer.

Let us keep those that have asked us to pray for them, those that are praying for us and those that have nobody to pray with in prayers because together we can come close and come clean to Jesus to make this Lent a truly meaningful one. God Bless!

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


Fourth Sunday of Lent: When Darkness Turns to Light


The long break. Things have not been making headway recently as I struggle to make it through each day. I begin to have doubts in my ability and often I am left thinking if I am really truly living, or merely existing because I have forced myself to do so. When the new week comes, I am left feeling anxious and worried, and I cannot help myself. I wish I can rekindle that spark to ignite my interests again, but the flame keeps flickering, and it never holds still. One day, I will be back to my original self.

The gospel opens by saying,“Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,  so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God (John 3:4-21).” 

The verse of “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life (John 3:16).” This beautiful verse is the promise that God gives us, that he gave us his only son and that Jesus died for us to redeem us from sin and to show that death does not mark the end.

It is also a testament of Jesus’ love and mercy for us to show that he is willing to sacrifice so much for us, and we should do the same to give up our old ways to experience the newness that comes with letting the grudges and emotional baggage that we carry go.

God dispelled the darkness of the void when he created earth and he created the beautiful creation we see everyday and then man is created in his likeness. Through his love, we are saved as long as we believe and keep the faith in doing the Father’s will.

So, we all should come forward to the light for it is pure, and to dispel the darkness for when there is no more darkness, we can be children of the light. Let us keep in mind that our actions will show people the light and to bring them out from the darkness. God Bless.

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


Second Sunday of Lent: Transfigured In Him


Have Faith In Me. I repeat the lines to myself as a reminder to keep trusting in Jesus as he resides in me. The weeks have thus far been challenging and I have been praying that things go well and at least I have some space to breathe. Keep trusting and following because Jesus is the light and that I will find him, whenever I feel down or lost for he is always near me, like the pulse beating in my heart.

The gospel begins by saying,“Jesus took Peter, James, and John  and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,  and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.

Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;  from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves,  questioning what rising from the dead meant (Mark 9:2-10).”

The concept of self-care has been floating at the back of my head that I find it difficult to find time for myself because there are always tasks for me to do, and this and that deadline to adhere to. I am still trying my best to find that high mountain to find peace within myself and to catch up on both physical and spiritual rest.

Being alone this Lent will be a challenge but I suppose that some paths are meant to be walked alone. Prayer and faith will sustain me as I trudge through week after week. Let us make a place for Jesus in our hearts this Lenten season so that we can be reconciled with ourselves and others through the mercy and grace of God.

The transfiguration sheds light on the purity that we should strive for to attain the rewards of heaven and for eternal salvation. For, we should continue to share the good news with one another that there is hope in Jesus and that we should follow Jesus to follow the voice that guides us in the wilderness.

May we rise with Jesus this period of Lent to die to ourselves and renounce sin and temptation. Even if we fail, we should continue to ask for forgiveness and repent, and every effort goes a long way to seek the path of righteousness.

I would like to close this sharing with a song called,”May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You” It has become one of the songs that I go to when I encounter any challenges far too great for me to overcome, and I will pray that God be with me and that he will keep me all the days of my life. Let us keep one another in prayer and pray for each other because no matter what you are going through, you are not alone because you matter. God Bless!

“May the good Lord bless and keep you
Whether near or far away
May you find that long awaited
Golden day today

May your troubles all be small ones
And your fortunes ten times ten
May the good Lord bless and keep you
Till we meet again

May you walk with sunlight shining
And a bluebird in every tree
May there be a silver lining
Back on every cloud you see

Fill your dreams with sweet tomorrows
Never mind what might have been
May the good Lord bless and keep you
Till we meet again”

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


First Sunday of Lent: Closer to Jesus


Uneasiness. I never did have the chance to fully rest and this has made me even more worn out. I feel that everything is a mess and there are so many things going on simultaneously that it is a battle to scramble to attend to all the tasks. Perhaps, this is the Lenten challenge that I must overcome and to work even closer with Jesus in prayer and reflection of the word of God.

The gospel begins by saying,” The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,  and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:12-15).”

I do cry out to Jesus in times of great need and I may come out of these with renewed grit, determination and motivation. To me, the desert is seen as an unforgiving place due to the inclement weather of extreme hot and cold during the day and night respectively. But, Jesus managed to turn the place into something better and the angels were there with him.

I have been praying that I am able to see the silver lining to push through the daily challenges that I encounter. The wild beasts did not faze Jesus because he was able to turn the desert into something beautiful which is a place of reconciliation and healing. However, it is important to note that Jesus struggled with temptations and even the devil himself during the 40 days in the desert.

Striving for the closeness with Jesus this Lent will become an objective because humanity is broken and needs to be restored. May we have the courage to draw strength from Jesus in which he embraced the difficulties of rebuking the devil and not give in to the worldly temptations. In other words, Jesus was able to see beyond the temporary happiness that power and fame could bring him.

May we always pray for one another that whatever the world may seem to promise us, it cannot be compared to the eternal salvation that Jesus has promised us where he will be in communion and that our faith can lead us to the end goal. Amen. Let us continue to seek Jesus first and the rest will fall into place. God Bless!

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


Spiritual Leprosy & Self-Worth


Overdue. Going to the library and forgetting to return a borrowed book would earn me an overdue fee. I feel that there are many aspects of my life that are long overdue as I struggle to get back the energy and to keep the passion going again. I know it’s a long shot, but I hope that someday I will be back in peak condition again.

The gospel begins by saying,“A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. 

He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere (Mark 1: 40-45).”

I could identify with the gospel because like a leper, I have been trying very hard to fit into social contexts and have always felt that I did not really fit in. Sometimes, I even question if trying so hard everyday is even worth the effort? Many do struggle with physical and spiritual leprosy. I do have both in terms of less than my ideal well-being and also pray for faith so that I can keep myself going.

During Jesus’s time, lepers were outcasts and forsaken by society as many were afraid that they might come in contact with the contagious disease. This reflects the world we live in; many are superficial in terms of how they interact with others and more so in practicing their faith.

Despite Jesus remaining in deserted places, the crowd still found him and came to him. It is the hunger to find Jesus that we will find the light and it will mean finding him in everything that we do because we are alive in the spirit as sons and daughters of God.

People used to tell me that I am a child of God and that cemented my self-worth in Jesus that we are all precious in his eyes. However the world views it differently and sometimes it can be difficult to look beyond the window of the world. Let us pray for one another that Jesus loves us no matter what and that should never be taken away from us by the world. Jesus is the world to us, and that is all that matters. Amen.

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong


To Seek the Lonely Place


Noise & Stimuli. After many years of procrastination and delays, I am glad made the choice to seek spiritual direction and to ponder more deeply on my vocation status. I realised God really works in mysterious ways as I struggle with secular life and trying to practice the Christian values that I learn every weekend when I go to church. Sometimes, it takes great heart and courage to be that person and not let the world around influence your thoughts and opinions- that is also another challenge, to block them out.

The gospel begins by saying,“On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee (Mark 1: 29-39).” 

Other than a teacher, Jesus has always been a healer in my eyes and that suffering though can be difficult to comprehend at times for it is not to punish us, but to let us find God. We need to look to the cross when the going gets tough that our salvation is right there for Jesus endured much for us on the cross, and we are to always keep that imagery close to our hearts to remind us that we are in communion and that we are not alone in our greatest struggles.

Now going through the daily routine of work has slowly started to chip into me as it has taken a toil on my health as I struggle to practice self-care and find time to rest. Another aspect was to always seek the Father’s will because that was what Jesus did as he went out on the ministry of spreading the Good News and also driving out evil.

Most importantly, admist all the chaos, to find that breathing space means to find the deserted or lonely place to pray. Prayer is being emphasised as important to keep praying and to prevent us from heading into a full collapse from sin and temptation. It also means finding quality in prayer which is to learn not to demand but to always ask “What do you want me to do? “The father’s will is far more crucial than asking about our own interests.

Let us pray for each other that we may remain steadfast in our prayer life and to find that lonely place to always go to where I can embrace the stillness and calmness admist the chaos of the world. May we bear our crosses with great patience and courage just as Jesus bore the pains of the world and sacrificed much, and may we have faith that Jesus walks with us every step of the way, always asking us, “Will you do my will?” Amen.

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong