John the Baptist’s arrest is a cue for Jesus to begin his Galilean ministry. Matthew mentions that Jesus’ mission has been predicted in the Scriptures: he was born in Bethlehem (cf Mt 2:6; Mi 5:1); he was raised in Nazareth: “He shall be called a Nazorean” [consecrated to God] (Mt 2:23; cf Jgs 13:7); and he begins his universal mission in Capernaum: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali… Galilee of the Gentiles” (v 15; cf Is 9:1).
The story of salvation has been divinely determined according to God’s plan. Jesus is presented as the “light of the world”—“the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen” (v 16). Jesus’ mission covers both the land of Israel and pagan nations.
Gospel • MATTHEW 4:12-17, 23-25
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.