Follow the Light

Third Sunday of Ordinary TIme Year A

We are now in Ordinary Time. The liturgical year has two such periods. One is between Christmas Time and Lent, the other time is after Easter Time, right up to the feast of Christ the King. The name ordinary is appropriate, for during this time, we listen to the teachings of Jesus and how these affected people in their ordinary daily life, and how they affect us in our life, today. 

What is today’s Gospel? We will see Jesus meet four men doing their work. They were fishermen. They were doing, what they did every day of their lives. However, Jesus calls them and from that moment, their lives change into something extraordinary. During this year, we will be listening to the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew wrote primarily for a Jewish audience. The Jews were waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. They knew what was written in the holy books, they knew the writings well. So, Matthew quotes Isaiah to show that what had been written, was being realised in Jesus. 

At that time, it was customary for a Rabbi (teacher) to choose people to teach. His choice was not haphazard. The choice generally fell on those who were educated and intelligent. However, Jesus, does the exact opposite. He calls fishermen, who were not known for their intelligence! In so doing, Jesus clearly shows us, that we are all called to follow him, no matter who we are. It is he, who will dispel our darkness and give us light.

Was it easy for Peter, Andrew, James and John to give up their work and follow Jesus? Did they know what was expected of them? It could be that they had heard about Jesus. It could be that it was curiosity which made them follow Jesus. No matter what the reason was, we know that they remained with Jesus, despite their shortcomings and lack of faith. The more they got to know Jesus, the more they became like him. It took time and many sacrifices. To become “fishers of men,” they had to give up not only their work, but also their families and friends. 

The same invitation, Jesus made to these four men, Jesus extends to us too. Jesus is not expecting us to give up our work or family, although these types of calls are still happening too. Jesus wants us to have the same commitment as the first disciples. When they accepted his invitation, Jesus became the centre of their lives, every day and all the time. We know that there were times when they made bad choices, however they repented. It is the same with us. Although we do our best to follow Jesus, and live according to his will, there are times when we fail. However, in his mercy, Jesus gave us the sacrament of reconciliation, so that we can once again regain the grace we lost through sin.

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 4, 12-23) 

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 to 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.

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. As parents, you are called, first and foremost to bring your children to Jesus.  How are you doing this?
  4. Jesus is still calling today. Jesus does not call us once and that’s that. One of the invitations he extends to us each day, and in a special way on Sundays, is his invitation to the Eucharist. How are you responding to this invite? How are you preparing your family for Sunday Mass?
  5. Peter, Andrew, James and John, left their work and followed Jesus. Is there something which Jesus is asking you to give up, so that you have more time for him? During this week, try to be more aware of the presence of Jesus in all that you do and in what happens around you. 
  6. Together with your family find the right time to read this Gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare;
    i. The Bible reading from St Matthew (4, 12-23)
    ii. Cover the table with a green cloth
    iii. A computer/laptop with the readings and clips
  7. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested).
  8. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  9. Be creative 😊 
  10. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family. 

In today’s Gospel, we are going to hear, how one day, there were four men who were doing their work; Jesus passed and asked them to follow him. What did they do? Did they follow him? Let us listen to the Gospel and see what they did.

  • Jesus wants to become our friend and follow him
  • Printout of today’s picture
  • Colours
  • Pencil

Imagine you are playing your favourite game, and mummy or daddy, call you to stop and go with them. They do not tell you where you are going or what you will be doing. Will you want to stop playing? What will you tell them? 

Peter, Andrew, James and John, were not playing. They were fishing. Did you ever see someone fishing? Or maybe you have been fishing yourselves! A fisherman is someone who catches fish. Fishing was the work of these four men. They caught fish to be able to sell them. However, Jesus wanted them to do something different!

What did Jesus tell me? (come after me)

Instead of fishermen, what did Jesus want them to become? (fishers of men)

How strange! Jesus wanted Peter, Andrew, James and John to catch people! No, Jesus did not mean that they would catch people in a net, or with a fishing rod! He meant that they would teach them about God and tell them how much God loved them. In this way the people got to know God and become his. It would be like they were catching people for God!

Did Peter, Andrew, James and John, follow Jesus? (yes)

They not only followed him that day, but they remained with him. They stayed with Jesus, because they realised that Jesus loved them, that he wanted them to do what was good, he wanted to teach them how to make good choices. Jesus taught them how much God loved them, how much God wanted to help them, and that God wanted to forgive the bad choices they made. They continued to live with Jesus, and after he died, they continued to teach the people about God. 

Jesus wants us to follow him too. Jesus wants us to get to know him, like Peter, Andrew, James and John, knew him. When we get to know Jesus, we will realise that he loves us, and that he wants us to do what is right, so that we will be happy.
Do you want to follow Jesus? If yes, this week you have a picture of Jesus with children. Before colouring it, draw yourself with these children, who are Jesus’ friends. After you may colour it and put it in your room, so that you will remember the promise you made to Jesus, that you will follow him. When the picture is ready, sing, Come follow me.

Sign of the Cross.

Dear Jesus, I want to follow you. I want to become your friend. Thank you for loving me, Jesus and for being my best friend. Amen.

Have you ever played, ‘Follow the Leader’? Someone is the leader, and the others follow him/her and imitate what he/she does. Today, Jesus invites some men to ‘follow him,’ although it is not a game, he is inviting them to! Let us listen to hear more about this invitation.

  • Jesus tells us too, “come after me, and I will make you fishers of men”
  • We are fishers of men, when we tell others about Jesus and be of good example, when we do what Jesus wants
  • Printout of drawing
  • Pencil

How many times, have your parents and teachers warned you not to go with someone whom you do not know! In today’s Gospel, Jesus meets four men, and invites them to follow him. Why do you think they left what they were doing and followed him? (accept all reasonable answers)

It could be that they had heard about Jesus. Remember that John the Baptist had been talking about him and preparing the people for Jesus. It could be that they had heard Jesus teach, too. Maybe they were curious, and decided to see what he wanted, and if they did not like it, they could return to their work. Whatever their reason was, we know that they remained with Jesus, they became his special friends, and after his death, they continued to teach the people. They in fact, became what Jesus had told them, they would become, “fishers of men.”

Do you know that each time we pray The Our Father, we are accepting to follow Jesus, just like these apostles? In the Our Father (the Lord’s Prayer), we say, “thy will be done, on earth.” We are asking God for his help to do as he wishes, in other words, to follow Jesus! We show that we are following Jesus, when we do as he teaches, we live in the way he wants us to.

Do you think it was easy for the apostles to leave their work and families and follow Jesus? In truth, they did not even know what Jesus was asking of them!

It is never easy to stop doing what we have got used to doing and do something different. These apostles teach us that although it is not easy to do what Jesus wants, it is always for our own good. Jesus will not ask us to do what is wrong, neither to do something which will harm us. Therefore, when we accept to follow him, we will be choosing what is right, even if it is difficult. We need to remember, that when we follow Jesus, he is with us. Jesus will help us. Jesus will never leave us on our own.

How can we follow Jesus? What choices do we need to make? How do we know what Jesus wants? (when we read the Bible, go to mass and catechetical meetings, we learn what Jesus is asking of us; examples of what the children can do to follow Jesus, include, talk about Jesus with others, for example, read the Bible to younger siblings, pray, obey, help others, do good choices, forgive others, share what you have, love others, play fair…)So that you remember what you have said, about what you can do to follow Jesus, you have a picture, and it has four footprints. In each footprint write what you will do to show Jesus that you have accepted his invitation to follow him. When you are ready, listen to, Jesus, I am in.

Sign of the cross

Dear Jesus, you ask us to follow you. Give us the courage to obey you, give us the wisdom to choose what is right, give us wisdom to realise that what you are asking of us, is much better than any other choice we can make.

Prayer of St Anselm

My God, teach my heart, where and how to seek you,
Where and how to find you.
Teach me to seek you…
I cannot seek you unless you teach me
or find you unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire, let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you, let me love you when I find you.


coming soon.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.