Jesus was going out to people who were on the periphery of faith, far from God.
Just one verse each day.
The Gospel for this Sunday is Matthew 4:12-23
John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus. He pointed to Him. However, they differed in their approach to people. These differences, however, are not about opposing each other, but about complementing each other. This is well shown in today’s gospel.
2 Key words
And Jesus went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.
Jesus sought out the people. He went around the whole of Galilee: that is, that part of Israel which was far from Jerusalem, far from the temple, in the north of the country. It was not just a matter of distance, but of a way of life that was quite often far from God. Hence it is said “Galilee of the Gentiles.” Jesus was going out to people who were on the periphery of faith, far from God. Moreover, he went on to seek out the lost man.
John the Baptist did not so much go out to the people, but the people came to him as it is written in the Gospel according to Matthew: “People went out to him from all of Jerusalem and the countryside of Judea.” He was waiting for a man. And his mission was focused not so much on the inhabitants of “Galilee of the Gentiles” as on those who lived in the holy city and in the area of Judea known for its faithfulness to God.
This shows that those who are close to God will come to Him, but one must seek – like Jesus – those who are far from the Lord.
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Jesus and John the Baptist call for one thing, conversion. Pope Francis, in his commentary on this Gospel passage, emphasizes that this conversion is a change of mind. It is not about changing externally, but internally.
Sometimes we wait for someone, who comes to us and we help them. Jesus, however, does not wait, but goes out to people himself. Since God is looking for a person, all the more so each of us should not wait for a phone call or an email.
To follow Jesus is precisely to go out to another person with a good word, kindness, and concern also for spiritual life. How often do I go out to another person? How often do I call those who need my help or a good word?