Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
‘Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned.’
From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
Today is Monday 7January, in the season of Christmas.
Look at the faces of the people around you.
What burdens are they carrying?What pains, what troubles in their lives? And what is burdening you right now?
Can you place all this into the healing hands of the Lord
And relax into his loving presence?
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
Where are you now as you listen to this Gospel text being read?
There are many places mentioned in the reading we have just heard. Some of the place names, we may be familiar with – Nazareth, Jerusalem, Galilee; others, are perhaps less well-known or even a mystery to us – Zebulun and Naphtali, the Decapolis. Are you in familiar surroundings? Or are you on the move?
Matthew tells us of Jesus’ mission and we hear that that mission involves proclamation and healing. The good news is to be proclaimed over a wide area, near and far, it seems no place and no one is excluded. We also hear that the good news brings healing; Do I feel myself afflicted or in some pain – physical or spiritual – at this time? Is there someone or some situation I would want to bring to the Lord for healing?
God speaks to each one of us individually. As you listen to the reading again, what might God be saying to you today?
Take a few moments to bring to Jesus in prayer an area of your life that is in need of healing, an area that you feel is in darkness. Or place someone or some situation in the Lord’s healing presence. No matter where you feel yourself, that person or situation to be, the Lord is there extending his healing hand.