This week has been a particularly draining and exhausting experience that has left me on the brink of sheer fatigue and a loss of interests in the things that I like such as writing. However, I am grateful to my friends and loved ones for their interaction with me has prevented me from falling further. I am thankful to have not lost sight of Jesus, as I can still see him in my mind’s eye.
The gospel reading speaks about the evening when, despite the door of the place where the disciples were hiding was locked, Jesus still came in and stood among them. He came in and said to them, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19-31). Many times, we lock ourselves in from Jesus and the world so that we become alone, but are we at peace? The answer is no. The reasons are perhaps we have become ignorant or afraid to answer Jesus’ many invitations to be open and not harden our hearts.
Jesus also said to Thomas,the disciple who doubted Him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:19-31). This is a phrase that weighs heavily on me as at times, I have doubts about whether I can fulfill my hectic schedule and also experience Jesus at the same time in all the stress, worries and anxieties. However, I am grateful that Jesus still got me through this week by sending me friends and loved ones who helped or encouraged me. Without them, I do not think I can walk through this alone.
Vulnerability is also something that I am still trying to accept as to me, it is a form of weakness,but it means to love and be self-giving to others like Jesus when he died for us on the cross. This is also another way that Jesus comes to those in need and to help them by bringing us from a state of disbelief to a renewed state of belief. For me, I took away two key messages in the gospel which is to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and to believe because Jesus is with us all the time.
As I enter the last two weeks of school which means more work to complete and examinations to study for, I came across this image which states “10 things you should give up to be happy”. I have thought long and hard to give up myself because I am tired of trying to live up to everyone’s expectations and requirements. The list below is hard to do at times but it is worth a try.
1) Give up your need to always be right
2) Give up your need for control
3) Give up blame
4) Give up your self-defeating self talk and your limiting beliefs
5) Give up complaining
6) Give up your need to impress others
7) Give up your resistance to change
8) Give up your fears
9) Give up your excuses
10) Give up on living your life to fit other people’s expectations.
Just like the beautiful hymn “Taste and See“, we are called to taste and see that the Lord is good, and so
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. I foresee that the path ahead is not smooth-sailing and I pray that I will have the courage and faith to keep walking on.
May we be able to see Jesus in his death and resurrection to embrace this sense of renewal that no matter our situation, we can always begin anew through his boundless mercy and love. Also, since it is Divine Mercy Sunday, if we have time to reflect on the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we will know that Jesus does have the heart to be merciful to us and that he will make all things whole again. God Bless!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong