The little picture. During my childhood, I remembered playing with a Disney jigsaw puzzle which had a thousand over pieces and it took time to fix it to form a beautiful completed picture that was depicted on the box. I cannot remember if I managed to fix the puzzle but the big picture will not be complete without the little pieces. Plus,it takes time and patience to fix the puzzle; with people requiring immediacy now, which is the big picture, people forget about the process to reach in order to achieve the end result.
Much emphasis always falls on looking at the big picture, but many miss out on the little picture which consists of the finer details, and these add depth to the overall big picture context. Why? By overlooking these details, the big picture will be out of proportion; different ideologies would clash and creativity would be stifled. Even in the workplace, it sometimes can be so hard to suggest a change to explore new and original ideas that people tend to stick with the tried and tested methods; it can be discouraging and exasperating at times.
The gospel reading says,“Jesus said to his apostles:”Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward (Matthew 10:37-42).”
Jesus loves us all very much and this can be seen in today’s gospel where our worth is measured by the immense love that He has for His creation. The only request that we do the same is evident in Jesus’s response by taking up our crosses to follow Him on this pilgrimage from beginning to end.
Carrying the crosses everyday is a challenge because these crosses might change over periods of time. Then there are the push and pull concepts of the teachings of the Catholic Church that clash with the teachings of the world. Who do we follow? It can cast us into a dilemma which is not easy to resolve or come to a mutual consensus – because there is none.
Even in divided concepts, we need to seek out the truth through conversations because the reward outweighs the setbacks. It is through these conversations that conversion of hearts can take place, but it is an outgoing process. Therefore, we need to choose God over any other earthly relationships because our reward will be great in heaven where Jesus has prepared a place for us.
When we feel rejected or betrayed by our choice in choosing God over our closest relations, we should not feel discouraged because we are carrying out the mission that Jesus has given to us, which is to endure and to keep the faith. Though the journey is long and fraught with complications, we will lose our old life and find new life in Jesus.
At times,we need to see the little picture and stand firm with the Church’s teachings because after all, it is through the promise of salvation and everlasting joy at the end which gives us meaning, and to allow us to grow in faith and uphold the moral values of the Church which is in accordance with God’s will.
I only pray for the determination and perseverance needed to choose God’s will over that of this earthly life which consists of heavy expectations and responsibilities. A mental note which I have told myself is to always take a step back when things gets too complicated or overwhelming. Sometimes, we all need to go away, take a breather and go back into the fray again. It is a never ending battle, but only Jesus can give us true and lasting joy and peace- so there is hope when the chapter comes to a close.
May we be ready, start now and trust that no matter what happens, we still belong to Jesus, and not let the world define our worth or value because ultimately we chart our own course, just like the captain of a ship, out in the open sea.
God Bless as we pray for one another and ask for forgiveness when mistakes are made, and for the greater capacity to love even when we are divided in the truth.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong