Monday, January 4, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

Monday after Epiphany – Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

Today we continue to celebrate the mysteries of Christmas, even though most of the world has moved into “ordinary time!”  For most people, the Christmas tree and decorations have come down.  Yet the Church continues to celebrate the coming of Jesus.

The focus of the Gospel reading for this day is the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.  The reading begins as Jesus receives word that his beloved cousin and friend, John the Baptist, had been arrested.  Matthew writes: “Jesus left Nazareth and went to Capernaum.”  There Jesus begins His ministry of preaching and teaching.  Jesus began calling the people to “repent.”  He told His listeners that the “kingdom of heaven” was near.

Word of Jesus’ power and preaching spread throughout the region.  Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, and ministered to the people according to their needs.  People from many cities and towns came to see this man, Jesus.  They came to hear Him preach and to be healed.  Imagine that you are in the crowd of people gathered around Jesus.  What do you hope to see or experience?  Do you want to hear Him preach and teach?  Or do you simply want to see Him for yourself?   Are you hoping  He might heal your infirmity?

We can come to Jesus today as well.  We may simply listen to what He has to say to us, or we might tell Him our needs and hopes.  Do we trust that Jesus will listen to us?  Do we believe that Jesus will heal us in some fashion?  Today, may we place our hope and our trust in Jesus.  He will not fail us!

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