Have you ever asked yourself what inspired men to drop everything to follow Jesus, when He called out to each of them? How is it that a man whose life depends on his career, leave his work to follow a man named Jesus? What did they see or experience that would cause them to follow?
The gaze of Jesus upon these men and others who followed Him, was extraordinary and different from any other person because he is God; he was sent by the Heavenly Father to tell us of the Father’s love and to die for us so we can experience true freedom from the enslavement of sin.
This gaze of God penetrated the soul of each person, with love and true humility.
People in the Bible such as the apostles, Mary of Magdala, and others who encountered Jesus stayed with him. They were recipients of this gaze of God.
They would hear Jesus say:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
What Following Jesus Offers Us
Following Jesus offers us something that the world cannot offer. We will never find real rest and peace unless we go to Jesus. St. Augustine said: Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in thee.
People are busier now versus 50 years ago. All the appliances and modern technologies that were supposed to make life easier, have made our lives more complicated. The more we have – the more there is to do. Daily routines are so busy, there is little time for relationships – for families to be together. So, there is little time for peace. Our main purpose is not to do, but to be… To be truly human – living in a right relationship with God.
Do you want the rest and peace that Jesus is offering you?
We naturally want to do things our own way, according to the way we understand things – our human logic. No matter how smart we are, or how much money or things we have – we will never have true peace and rest without Jesus.
Accepting Jesus’ Invitation
Take to heart the words of Jesus to you: Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. We must have the desire in our hearts to approach Jesus; he will be there for you.
Do you believe Jesus can bring new meaning into your life?
Thirty years ago, I decided to take the words of Jesus seriously. Yes, I had to make some changes, like everyone else who decides to take the words of Jesus seriously. For example, if we are going to accept his invitation to come to him, we must develop a discipline of prayer and spend some time reading the Scriptures every day, so that we can know him better through the Word. I joined a prayer group, and after a few weeks I began to feel closer to Jesus. I even had an internal vision of him reaching out to me, as to draw me close to him. This happened at a low point in my life when I was sick, both physically and spiritually. This encounter was life-changing and gave me confidence in Jesus’ love for me even though I didn’t feel worthy.
In his love and mercy, he healed me to see the changes I needed to make with the help of his grace. I have come to welcome the ongoing call to conversion, because I trust Jesus will gently guide me to become the person he has called me to be. I have entered the process of discovering my potential for happiness now and for all eternity.
Jesus is inviting us to come to him. The first step may be difficult… however, once you make that first step, the rest of the journey to his heart is a journey that leads to true freedom and peace.
Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.