My mind is in a whirl as I try to place my thoughts together and write this post. It has been another challenging week as I struggle to make sense of things to do first. Also, as the Lunar New Year draws near, it is a mad rush to juggle between chores and work. I just wished I had more motivation and drive to just do the things that I need to do first. Perhaps, I should pray about it, and for my health too.
The gospel opens by saying,“When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen. From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them,”Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people (Matthew 4:12-23).”
Even though Jesus was faced with a dilemma of knowing that John, the baptist had been arrested, he kept calm and proceeded to preach in cities to continue his work of preaching the good news. Now Galilee is a port like region where many people of different cultures head to and the prospect of Jesus interacting with the people is interesting and shows that people can be saved. Galilee in photographs seem to be a beautiful place and I was scrolling through photographs of the seaside and scenery, I thought that Jesus couldn’t have chosen a better place to start his journey of preaching as it must have given him the right frame of mind to do so.
To me, the most remarkable aspect was the choice that Jesus made in choosing his early disciples. Instead of choosing high ranking royalty, he chose one of the simplest of occupations – fishermen. But they were important as people relied on them for food as they would go out to sea to catch fish. The early disciples heeded the call to be followers of Jesus in leaving everything behind for they recognized Jesus. But more meaningfully, they knew that deep down, they were called to be something greater.
How many of us would readily give up everything to follow Jesus? It is a difficult decision but if I recognize the call, then yes I would follow because I believe in the promise of eternal salvation and life. It is a gift that we cannot refuse because it is deeply rooted in our Catholic faith and in the celebration of the mass.
As we go about the week, let us pray for us to always answer the call and will of Jesus by discerning and reflecting on the decisions that we must make. Discipleship is not an easy role but we need to pray for the wisdom of the spirit and the guidance to guide others as we continue to learn new aspects about ourselves. God Bless! I would like to end with a hymn titled,”Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus“which was my first time hearing the choir sing it and I loved how the lyrics speak to me in providing me strength and hope in each day, both good and bad.
Jesus, help and guide me when things get tough as I follow you to see another day through. Amen.
“O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!”
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong