Devotional thoughts for 1st Sunday after Denaha - 13th Jan 08þ
- Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Matthew 4:12-22
Dear and Respected Brethren
Today's reading begins with the statement of St. Matthew that the
prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 9 verses 1-2 has been fulfilled as and
when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ departed from Nazareth and
settled at Capernaum and started His blessed public mission. The
Prophecy says that the who were in darkness and the dimness were
able to enjoy the brightness of God and they abandoned all the
practices they had till then of the effects of darkness. Though they
were gentiles, after the transformation they were no longer children
of darkness. They sought entire freedom from the darkness and its
influence. They became the children of the bright light and the
spokesmen of the brightness. In verse 15 we could find the statement
of St. Matthew, where we read "The land of Zebulon and the land of
Naphthalim by way of the sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the
gentiles, the people which sat in darkness saw great light and to
them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung
We are indeed bound to subject this scriptural portion for our
earnest study and thorough thinking. Since our birth we all are
brought up in the Christian atmosphere and we all are keen in
following a religious life and of course a virtuous life. Still
could we claim that we are free from the influence of darkness? Are
we not searching in the darkness and its after effects, though we
speak highly of our Church life and religious practices? The people
of Galilee, Naphthali and Zebulun were able to identify Lord Jesus
as the Savior of the entire mankind and the creation. Why we cannot
accept Him as our personal Savior? Though we remain so close to our
Lord, do we recognize Him and His blessed presence very near to us?
If not we must realize that there is a serious mistake in the style
of our lives. We have to confess every day and if possible at every
moment in our minds at least: "Lord thou art my God and Savior". We
have to create such a warm and sweet personal relationship with our
"In Him was life and the life was the light of man" St. John remarks
so in his Gospel chapter 1:4. Again he says "And that light has come
into the world" (St. John 3:19) And when the light came to the world
the gentiles got benefited. We all are supposed to reserve the light
from God in us and to reflect them to the fellowmen who are in
darkness, precisely like the moon who do reserve sunlight and
reflects the same at night. Then only our Lords words that we are
the light of the world would come true. (Please see St. Matthew 5:14
and St. John 8: 12) Let us make a decision now that we would reserve
the brightness and light of God in us and would reflect the same to
the needy people and places.
Verse 17 says about our Lord's first and most important message to
the world: to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. The kingdom
of God or the heaven, the dwelling place of God is to be realized as
a spiritual experience with the triune God rather than a place. Our
Lord wants one and all of us to be with Him in His blessed Kingdom.
Remember the importance He has given to pray for the kingdoms
arrival. In Lord's Prayer He insists us to pray: "Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". We are familiar with
the term 'repentance' and many of us consider that it is a pre-
condition to have the sacrament of H. Confession. That is true as it
is. But we must realize that repentance is a pre-condition for
establishing a contact with our Lord God. Without repentance we
cannot gain any of the blessings from our Lord God. Kindly remember
that the repentance is the freedom from selfish thoughts, deeds and
words. Selfishness is the root cause of all sins which distracts us
from God and the heavenly experiences.
In Verse 18 and 19 our Lord called St. Peter and his brother St.
Andrew who were engaged in their profession of fishing. They were
attracted by the call "follow me, I shall make you fishers of men".
They followed Him leaving away all their belongings and earnings
which they had till then. Lord Jesus called all the Apostles alike
to continue His deeds on earth. Our Lord's aim was to earn all the
mankind for His kingdom. Lord Jesus is calling each and everyone of
us also. It is generally assumed by many of us that the call is only
for the priests or the candidates for priesthood. Realize that the
call is for everyone. It doesn't mean that all of us must spend 24
hours of the day for the mission works. God is calling you and me to
witness Him wherever we are. To witness Christ, we must be guided by
the Holy Spirit in our lives. So let us ask for the renewal of the
Holy Spirit in us so that we could respond to God's call and we
could witness Him substantially.
In verses 21 and 22 we hear the call of our Lord again to St. James
and St. John who were repairing the fishing net with their father.
They also followed Christ without conditions. They also left the
worldly riches they had in addition to their moral obligations to
May the continued intercession of the blessed Apostles be a fort of
protection for all of us. May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.