Vol. 6, No. 19
Daughters of Mary Commentary
17 January 2017
Third Sunday of Ordinary Time – Matthew 4:12-23
We have recently put away our Christmas decorations and lights, as this joyous season ended with the Epiphany of the Lord. Our newborn king is the eternal light of our world. The gospel describes Isaiah’s prophecy- the great light overcoming the darkness. The word light in Greek has three derivatives: phos, photizo, and phosphoros, meaning to shed rays, to shine, and radiant, respectively. As Christians and all people, we are attracted to light; we all have a spiritual hunger and desire Jesus. This is the focal point of the gospel.
Matthew’s account begins with hearing the shocking news that Jesus’ dear cousin, who recently baptized Him, had unjustly been imprisoned. We know this is an ominous foretelling of Jesus’ future. He immediately leaves His home and family to journey towards Capernaum so that He may fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah. Following that, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This signifies the beginning of the Church.
As He walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw two fishermen, Peter and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea. He then spoke with seemingly ordinary words: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Later, Jesus came across another pair of fishermen, James and his brother John, as He continued walking along the shore. They were mending their nets with their father, Zebedee, and Jesus called them to come and follow Him. Their response was extraordinary!
At once, without verbalizing their response, they left their homes and families and followed Jesus. They did not question His word. Here in Matthew 4:12, as well as Mark 1:16-20, the disciples’ response is motivated by Jesus’ invitation, an element that emphasizes His mysterious power and their unconditional faith.
The disciples’ immediate submission and willingness to do God’s will is extremely powerful. Similarly, our blessed Mother fully surrendered her life to Jesus when she accepted God’s invitation to follow his plan. Where have we not surrendered, not given in completely, or died to self in our lives?
- The Magnificat Magazine