7 January 2018. Monday after Epiphany
Reflection (Sem. Eldrick Peña)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus went around the region of Galilee calling for repentance for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. This is a good reminder to us as we enter a new year with its prospects and challenges. Jesus, the light of the world, in His coming into flesh, dispelled the darkness of sin and error.
We need to change our ways, we need to be converted to Jesus, which is actually the message of Christmas. Jesus came to the world at a time when there was much confusion and chaos not to put an end to them, but to be a sign of hope in the midst of these challenges.
We are being invited by Jesus to be joyful amidst the daily trials and difficulties that life presents to us; to embrace them with much faith and confidence and of course joy, because He is here to accompany us; to journey with us in our ordeals – to suffer, to cry and to fail with us. In this sense, we become beacons of light and of hope to other people around us. Isn’t He the Emmanuel, the “God who is with us”? Who became exactly like us except by sin?
We can then start making this imperfect world more livable if we start making small changes in ourselves – to be a little more loving, caring, compassionate, forgiving and understanding of others in spite of our own struggles, limitations and challenges – and that will spell out the difference of this Christmas from the other Christmases we had in the past.
This new year, Christ invites us towards a change of heart. Will you accept Christ’s challenging invitation?
The Gospel Today
Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25
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.”
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.
His fame spread to all of Syria,
and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases
and racked with pain,
those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics,
and he cured them.
And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea,
and from beyond the Jordan followed him.