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.
We are experiencing extreme weather here in the Joliet area. We had several inches of snow fall today and tomorrow we are expecting wind chills to hit -45 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the frigid temps, we finished our second diocesan Kairos retreat on Sunday. It was a wonderful experience to see the grace of God transform the lives of many young people.
Yesterday we celebrated the great feast of the Epiphany, which means “manifestation”. In other words, Jesus manifested Himself as God as the three Magi brought their gifts of gold (for kings), frankincense (for God) and myrrh (burial perfume). From the time of His conception and birth we know that there is something very different about this Jesus. And of course, we are privileged to know the rest of the story to know that He truly is the King of kings, the Son of God and Savior of the world (fully human and fully divine).
Today, we read about another way that Jesus manifested His identity as God. He cured people of every illness and disease, performing miracles all over Galilee. The Scriptures describe many epiphanies or manifestations of Jesus as the Son of God.
I saw epiphanies this weekend on the Kairos as the Lord manifested Himself in many ways – in the Eucharist, in the Confessional, in each of the people that were present there. Jesus’ love and mercy was so evident and apparent!
This week we will continue to hear about other “manifestations” of Jesus’ identity as the Son of God. This begs some questions for us:
1) Do I truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
2) Have I seen Jesus manifested in my own life?
3) If Jesus is the Son of God, how does this impact my life?
4) Do I seek Jesus above all things (Magi) or do I focus on the material things of life (King Herod)?
5) Do I offer my most valuable gifts (talents, heart, treasure, time) to Jesus like the Magi or do I give him only what is left over?
Have a blessed day!