Hearing that John had been arrested, Jesus went back to Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he went and settled in Capernaum, a lakeside town on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled:
‘Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
Way of the sea on the far side of Jordan,
Galilee of the nations!
The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light;
on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death
a light has dawned.’
From that moment Jesus began his preaching with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’
As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.
He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people.
The Gospel at Mass on Sunday, the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, presents the dawn of the public ministry of Jesus, and in the faithful following of James and John, Peter and Andrew presents the dawn of the Church.
That following of Jesus – who helps us recognise the closeness of the Kingdom of Heaven, and offers us personal encounter with God – continues to this day.
And the most unexpected people are followers. Not always very good followers, but who find some inspiration and some guidance in Jesus. Together we are part of his Church, some more central, some more focussed, but all together of the one Church.
- On Sunday look and notice the people who gather with you in Church. Remember those who are not gathering with you but who identify as Catholics. Remember the others who are members of other Christian communities.
- Pray for them.
- And know afresh that you pray with them, and pray for the unity and faithfulness of the Church.
Sea of Galilee. (c) 2007, Allen Morris