Fr. Mike’s Homily for Monday after Epiphany (1)







Fr. Mike’s Homily for Monday after Epiphany
Theme: Repent!
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Monday January 3 2022
Mt 4:12-17, 23-25
When he 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.
As Jesus begins His public ministry, He hears the news about the arrest of John the Baptist. He, then, withdraws from the vicinity of the Jordan River where He had been with John, and goes to the northern province of Galilee where He had grown up. “He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali…Galilee of the Gentiles.”
Jesus’ preaching is summarized in one sentence: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” His message is similar with that of John the Baptist, but it has a more profound and richer meaning. While John refers to the coming of the Kingdom, Jesus refers to Himself as the Kingdom in person. Origen of Alexandria uses the Greek word, “autobasileia” to describe Jesus.
In his book, Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI explains: “Jesus himself is the Kingdom; the Kingdom is not a thing; it is not a geographical dominion like worldly kingdoms. It is a person; it is He…By the way in which He speaks of the Kingdom of God, Jesus leads men to realize the overwhelming fact that in Him, God Himself is present among them, that He is God’s presence” (p.49).
In the Gospel today, Matthew uses the term “kingdom of heaven”, instead of ‘kingdom of God.” This is because, for his audience who are mostly Jews, the name of God is so holy that it cannot be uttered by anyone. For Matthew, therefore, the word ‘heaven’ is another word for the name of God. With the coming of Jesus, the Kingdom of God is being inaugurated, for He Himself is its perfect embodiment.
Secondly, the imperative ‘Repent’ as used by Jesus is more profoundly radical than that of John. While John understands this word as being sorry and regretful for something wrong done in the past, Jesus is concerned about the future. He uses the Greek word ‘metanoia’ () which demands a complete and radical turnaround in one’s way of life. It is an invitation and challenge to a life of conversion and holiness.
Matthew summarizes the entire public ministry of Jesus with these words: “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.” He does not wait for people to come. He goes around to where they are, and eagerly proclaims the Good News, reaching out to them in their needs, and letting them know and feel, that, in Him, the kingdom of God is in their midst.
In a few days, the Christmas Season ends. As we look one more time at the Baby Jesus in the manger, we reflect on the main reason why He was born into this world: to bring the light of salvation to the whole of humanity darkened by sin. Hence, His mission is to lead us to repentance and conversion towards the fullness of life in His kingdom. As His followers, may we also be active collaborators in His mission, and hasten the coming of God’s kingdom on earth.
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches




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