THE PEOPLE THAT SIT IN DARKNESS HAVE SEEN A GREAT LIGHT

THE PEOPLE THAT SIT IN DARKNESS HAVE SEEN A GREAT LIGHT

By Fr.Felix (African Times Guest Writer)

A Reading From The Holy Gospel according to Matthew (4:12-17, 23-25).

This is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Matthew first introduces us

to Galilee, characteristically quoting the scriptures to show that they

are being fulfilled, and in what way.

Galilee is called ‘Galilee of the gentiles’ only in this passage, and

it was not a particularly notable feature of Galilee. Archaeology shows

that Jewish observance was strong in the region. Contemporary

literature shows that there was a lively tradition of prayerful

charismatic rabbis with a warm devotion to the Lord.

Jesus begins his ministry by proclaiming the imminence of the Kingdom

of God, which will be the subject of all his activity. Then he begins

to form the new Israel by calling his team together. The Christian

imagination tends to combine this scene with the scene with the Baptist

in the Jordan Valley in the gospel of John, which gives at least Peter

and Andrew some knowledge of Jesus.

But today’s narrative must be heard on its own, and the staggering

factor is that this is the first time at any rate the sons of Zebedee

have set eyes on Jesus. As he passes by he calls them, and such is the

electrifying power of his charismatic personality that they simply drop

everything and follow this total stranger – immediately, as the

evangelist stresses each time.

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