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A very warm welcome to all parishioners and visitors of Our Lady Help of Christians to our parish website. Fr Mario

Gospel Reflections Download newsletter   [Matthew 4:12-23]

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 the presence of gentiles was not a particularly notable feature of Galilee. Archaeology shows that Jewish observance was strong in the region. Contemporary literature indicates 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, and this 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 of the Baptist in the Jordan Valley in the Gospel of John, which suggests that at least Peter and Andrew among the disciples had already 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, Jesus 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. Do I ever follow Jesus’ call immediately and unconditionally?

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