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JESUS BEGAN HIS MINISTRY NOT IN JERUSALEM

JESUS BEGAN HIS MINISTRY NOT IN JERUSALEM

(A biblical refection on THE 3rd ORDINARY SUNDAY [YEAR A] – 22 January 2017) 

Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:12-23 

First Reading: Isaiah 8:23-9:3 (9:1-4 RSV); Psalms: Psalm 27:1,4,13-14; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17 

kemuridan-panggilan-murid-murid-pertamaThe Scripture Text

Now when He heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth He went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawn.” From the time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” 

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 fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. 

And He went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom  and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. (Matthew 4:12-23 RSV)

Jesus began His ministry not in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, but far to the north, in Galilee (Matthew 4:15-17). Wasn’t it a big surprise for us? Galilee was literally surrounded by Gentiles. To the west were the Phoenicians, to the north and east the Syrians, and to the south were the Samaritans. Why would God choose such an isolated enclave?

Isaiah had prophesied that this “Galilee of the nations” would experience God’s light breaking through the darkness of sin and division (Isaiah 9:1-2). It would be here where many of the great roads of the world passed, that the light of salvation would first shine, drawing to itself people of all backgrounds.

During this “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” (January 18-25), it’s good to remember that Jesus Himself is the prime principle of unity. He is our one hope for healing a divided church. When He walked the earth, people flocked to Him from all over (Matthew 4:24-25). And today, wherever He is loved and adored, people are drawn to put aside differences and gather around Him. Only Jesus could possibly overcome the centuries of divisions that have plagued the body of Christ!

Today’s second reading reminds us, however, that each of us must cooperate with the Lord in bringing about Christian unity. Just as Paul pleaded with the Corinthians to overcome their divisions, the Holy Spirit pleads with us to put aside all the sins that lead to division: prejudice, fear, pride, and self-sufficiency. Jesus wants us to come together so that our light can shine all the brighter. And the only way we can come together is as we come closer to Him. So let His light banish our inner darkness. As we do so, we’ll find ourselves drawn closer to His people – until the day comes when there really is one Church gathered around one altar singing the praises of the one true God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, break down the walls of division among Your people. Let all Christians be united in one Spirit in the bond of peace and love. Amen.

Jakarta, 19 January 2017  

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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PSALM 47:1-2

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?Psalm 27:1

Jakarta, 21 January 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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“Let your light shine before others, ……” (Matthew 5:16)

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Jakarta, 20 January 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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ROMANS 12:12

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Jakarta, 19 January 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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JOHN 10:10

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Jakarta, 18 January 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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“Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…” (Hebrews 3:13)

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Jakarta, 17 January 2017

A Christian Pilgrim 

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2017 in QUOTABLE QUOTES 2017

 

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OLD AND NEW [Mark 2:18-22] – Today’s Gospel Reading in the Mass

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Gospel Reading:  Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to Him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins. (Mark 2:18-22 RSV)

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I want to receive Your new wine. Come and fill me to overflowing, dear Lord, and let me taste and see Your goodness. Amen.

Jakarta, 16 January 2017

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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