Home Daily Meditation Matthew 4, 12-23

Matthew 4, 12-23

by Fr. Michael Della Penna
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Mt 4:12–23

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 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.

Peace to all my brothers and sisters listening in today

Preaching. Conversion. Response

  1. Preaching. What is the first sermon that Jesus ever preached? You might be tempted to say repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. In fact if we think of how it was said of Saint Francis that we are called to preach to all of creation and if necessary use words -we can better look at Jesus’ actions to see how he preached in where he went first. We are told he went to Zebulun and Neftali which for most of us doesn’t mean much, but for every Jew would’ve been very significant. They would’ve known that it was here in the north of Israel that 10 of the twelve tribes of Israel were lost in the Assyrian exile which devastated them and took them prisoners about 700 years before Christ. Since that time hope had been lost that the 12 tribes of Israel would ever be able to continue or the promise of God be fullfilled. When Jesus began with the last tribes, precisely in Zebulun and Neftali it was seen as a messianic move. This is what God always does goes after the lost sheep -those who are on the fringes of society the weak and brings them the good news -that is why we hear Isaiah’s prophecy fulfilled -that light has shown in the darkness. A quick look at the Bible shows us the same -that Moses who was a murderer and David who was a murder and adulterer and Paul who was a murderer, all become great examples of God going after those who are lost in order to convert them. This is the good news in which the medium is the message -that God calls those who are weak and lost to become saints and apostles.
  2. Conversion – Repent because the kingdom of heaven is at hand simply means that we are called to turn away from anything that prevents us from loving God fully and authentically. Although change is hard we need only open our heart and ask our God to help us to respond to the grace that God freely gives in order to choose to love.
  3. Response- God is calling us too today, just as he did with the disciples, in the very concrete situation of our life in the middle of our daily routine right where we work. It doesn’t happen in a church or while we are praying but rather in media res that is, in the middle of things. Our response to is key here as we are called to drop our nets to respond immediately to follow. Unfortunately many of us are entangled in the nets of the world. What is it that holds me back today from truly following Jesus whole heartedly? What unfreedom prevents me from being all Gods and belonging to him?

May God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit

Always remember heaven is our goal

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