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Liturgical day: Sunday 3rd (A) in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mt 4,12-23): When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to settle down in Capernaum, a town by the lake of Galilee, at the border of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the word of the prophet Isaiah was fulfilled: «Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali crossed by the Road of the Sea, and you who live by the Jordan, Galilee, land of pagans, listen: The people who lived in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in the land of the shadow of death, a light has shone». From that time on Jesus began to proclaim his message, «Change your ways: the kingdom of heaven is near».

As Jesus walked by the lake of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. He said to them, «Come, follow me, and I will make you fish for people». At once they left their nets and followed him. He went on from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. Jesus called them. At once they left the boat and their father and followed him. Jesus went around all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, and curing all kinds of sickness and disease among the people.

«Jesus went around all Galilee»

Fr. Josep RIBOT i Margarit
(Tarragona, Spain)

Today, Jesus teaches us a lesson of “holy prudence”, totally congenial with boldness and courage. Certainly, He —who is not afraid of promulgating the truth— decides to pull away when realizing that his enemies —as they had already done with John the Baptist— also want to kill him: «Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you» (Lk 13:31). —If his slanderers, whom He had spent his life doing well to, were trying to kill him, you should not be surprised if you, eventually, also suffer maltreatment, as the Lord already warned us.

«When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee» (Mt 4:12). It would be foolish to challenge danger without a commensurate reason. Only through prayer can we make out whether silence or abeyance or letting time go by, are symptoms of wisdom or of cowardice and lack of fortitude. Forbearance, the science of peace, will help making up serenely our mind in the difficult moments, provided we do not lose the supernatural vision.

«Jesus went around all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, and curing all kinds of sickness and disease among the people» (Mt 4:23). Neither threats nor fear of what others may say can force us to retreat from doing good. Those of us who are called to become salt and light, workers of goodness and truth, cannot yield before extortion and threats that, more often than not, will be nothing but hypothetical or merely oral dangers.

Unwavering, fearlessly, without looking for any excuses to postpone for “to-morrow” our apostolic action. They say, «“to-morrow” is the adverb of the defeated». This is why St. Josemaría recommended «Here is a recipe to make your apostolic spirit effective: make definite plans, not for the whole week but for the day ahead, for this moment and the next».

To enthusiastically carry out God's will; to be righteous in any environment and to follow the ruling of our well shaped conscience, calls for a strength and might we have to request for all of us, because the danger of cravenness is great. —Let us beg our Holy Mother in Heaven to help us always, and in all instances, to abide by God's will, by imitating her heroic fortitude at the foot of the Cross.