SEEKING THE LIGHT
In today’s readings we find ourselves being drawn more deeply into relationship with Jesus. We are getting to know more about him as we see how he struggles with the news of his cousin John’s arrest. His first response is to withdraw, to leave Nazareth and go to Capernaum. There he is perhaps both consoled and challenged by the words of Isaiah that Matthew quotes: “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, / on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death / light has arisen” (Matthew 4:16). Jesus contemplates his cousin’s death, perhaps his own death, and he seeks the light. Maybe it is these words of Isaiah that move Jesus out of his withdrawal and into action. He begins to preach, teach, cure disease and illness, and proclaim the gospel of the kingdom.
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First Reading — God has restored the land, and brought great joy to the people (Isaiah 8:23 — 9:3).
Psalm — The Lord is my light and my salvation (Psalm 27).
Second Reading — Paul exhorts the believers at Corinth: As there is one Christ, so too must there be no divisions among you (1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17).
Gospel — After calling his first disciples, Jesus goes throughout Galilee (Matthew 4:12-23 [12-17]).