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Assumption Church, Grafton
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Good Amidst Bad News
January 26, 2020 | Joey Echano
In the gospel, Jesus announced the good news in the midst of the bad news that John the Baptist was arrested by Herod. For many people, John the Baptist represents hope in the midst of the oppressive occupation of Israel by the Romans. John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of the messiah which would bring back their glory days under God's rule.
Matthew's gospel see the fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy here. The beginning of the public ministry of Jesus is the great and glorious "light" that is to shine to those who walk in darkness and the shadow of death.
The Gospel goes on to give us a summary of Jesus' message: "Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand". Repent for Jesus means something far more than simple sorrow for sins. The Greek word used, metanoia, literally means a change of mind, a change not just in an intellectual sense but involving a transformation of attitude at a deep personal level. This means looking at one's life and one's hopes for the future in a totally new way, open and receptive to the usually surprising action of God. The Kingdom of God meant this kind of radical change of heart.
It is good to note the kinds of people Jesus chose for Apostles: from the fishermen brothers Simon and Andrew to Matthew and John, they were all flawed yet graced. Leaving their family and their livelihood, they are to become his intimate companions and followers. Life with him, and association with his ministry of healing and proclaiming the Good News, will transform them from being fishers of fish to being fishers, catching people for the Kingdom.
The inauguration of the public ministry of Jesus is an ongoing story. We are all called to participate in the inauguration of the Kingdom by Jesus by becoming the Good News, through witnessing the values of God's kingdom in the midst of the darkness and misery of the world today, and through drawing others constantly (those who live in the darkness and shadow of death) into the freedom and light that Jesus has brought into the world.
Catholic Women's League of Canada
Ontario Provincial Council
Summer - Fall 2019