A beam of sunlight shines through a window in the bell tower of Trinity Church Wall Street

Five Ways Into Sunday’s Scripture: What Is God’s Will for Me?

From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. 

Matthew 4:17–23 

The Gospel reading this week features Matthew’s account of the calling of the first four disciples: “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of people.”

When we read across all four Gospel accounts, we see that Peter, Andrew, James, and John knew Jesus well; their hearts were already drawn to Jesus when he called them from their boats to follow. Leaving their nets behind seems a bit less reckless in this light, but no less inspired or profound.

You see, each of us must figure out how to best respond to God’s call in our lives. As we mature and become more introspective, we, too, must discern how God may be calling us to use our gifts and interests, and even our wounds, to serve God and others in the world.

A faithful response to what God is calling you to do now may seem abrupt to an onlooker. But Christians in daily conversation with God, who have practiced directing their lives toward others, who have received the sacraments and formation from caring people in their lives, and who have shared in community life, gain insight into God’s will for them.

Finding out who we are and how God may be calling us is an ongoing process of discovery of identity and vocation. Do I believe that God can do extraordinary things with my ordinary life? What is Jesus’s call to me in this period of my life? How will I remain alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my discernment?

—Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones

“To be sure, following Christ can, at times, leave us feeling filleted. The [G]ospels and other writings of the New Testament have plenty to say about the losses and leave-takings involved in pursuing Christ, the letting go that he asks of us, the dying to all that is not of God.” —Jan Richardson, The Painted Prayerbook

“What was it they saw in Jesus? What did they understand in what Jesus had said? We don’t know, but it was something strong, something wonderful, something as radical as light breaking through the darkness — and they wanted more.”

This podcast introduces a form of prayer called Ignatian Contemplation, in which you use your imagination to interact with various scenes from Scripture. In this episode, Jesus calls his first disciples. 

Marge Piercy’s “To be of use” celebrates jumping in headfirst to the thing worth doing well.

In “The Summons (Will You Come and Follow Me),”
 John L. Bell of the Iona Community asks, Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around? 

Get the Five Ways In Your Inbox

Sign up to receive reflections and updates from the Faith Formation & Education team.

Coming Soon

Sundays through January 29 | 10–11am
Discovery: God, Love, Eros, and Incarnation
The Song of Songs gives a blueprint for love and companionship. See how poets and artists and the writer’s contemporaries explored relationships in this Scripture. This week, learn about Visual Art and the Song of Songs with Dr. Susan Ward, retired professor of Art History, Rhode Island School of Design.

Sunday, February 12 | 1–3pm
Trinity Talks: Using Photography for Social Change
LaToya Ruby Frazier’s work depicts the stark reality of today’s America: post-industrial cities riven by poverty, racism, healthcare inequality, and environmental toxicity. By featuring voices and perspectives traditionally erased from the American narrative, MacArthur “Genius” Frazier not only captures our cultural blind spots—she teaches us how art is a powerful tool for making change. Frazier will join in conversation with the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas to discuss the transformative power of art.