1990 Jan 21 – 3rd Sun Ord Time (Bulletin Letters)
3rd Sun Ord Time Cycle A
Mt 4, 12 – 23
HE LEFT NAZARETH AND WENT DOWN TO LIVE IN CAPERNAUM.” Matthew 4/13:
Today’s Gospel text from Matthew is a transitional text. It is good to remind ourselves that each of the four Gospels were written as independent stories about the life of Jesus. They are not meant to be historical biographies. Their primary purpose was to inspire already formed faith communities to fo1low the way of Jesus more closely. They have more theological content than historical record. Still the format of the text is the telling of a story. Like all stories there is a beginning and ending, with characters, plot and. action. Some text stands on its own making a point or teaching a lesson. All text hold together to form one story line.
Today’s Gospel follows the opening scenes of Jesus public ministry. Baptized by John on the Jordan, Jesus has just completed his 40-day trial and temptation in the desert. He hears of John’s arrest. Now is his time to move, to start the work he was sent to do. Fulfilling a prophesy, from Nazareth to Capernaum he relocates. Jesus begins where John left off, proclaiming, “Reform your lives” and then adds something new, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He calls to follow him two sets of brothers, fishermen by trade, Simon and Andrew, James and John.
Now in Galilee, the right place, after John’s arrest, the right time, with the beginning of his core community, Simon, Andrew, James and John, Jesus is ready to spread the good news. Touring one community after another in Galilee, Jesus starts to do his thing proclaiming the Kingdom of God and curing people of all their disease and illnesses. A new prophet is in the land, in Galilee no less! He sounds like the Baptist but he is different. He has the power. He cures all of their diseases and illnesses. He talks of this Kingdom of God. What does he mean, this Kingdom God?
The scene is set for next week’s Gospel and the Sermon on the Mount.