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.”
As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.
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.
Mt 4:12-23 or 4:12-17
Praised be Jesus Christ!
In the Second Reading today from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, he pleads — urges — for unity among the Christian community. While his words are directed to the faithful at Corinth probably around 55-56, A.D., the message is also clearly for us.
The early Church in Corinth was experiencing division. This division was created by rivalries of personalities. St. Paul knew that division comes from the evil one, while unity is a gift of the Holy Spirit. He reminds the factions that there is only one Person to follow: Jesus Christ.
Even in our own day in the Church, division is manifested when we gather around certain bloggers or members of the clergy because we agree with their view of things in Church life. It’s good for us to remember the exhortation of St. Paul. Only our unity in the person of Christ through the Holy Spirit can free us from the human divisions into which we can fall. This unity of the Holy Spirit will also make us docile to the authentic teachings of the Church which are expressed through Sacred Scrpture and Tradition (the constant teaching of the Church from the time of the Apostles).
Just as in St. Paul’s time, we need to be cautious about to whom we are listening and to whom we are loyal. The only place to put our trust and loyalty is in Jesus, the only Word of God. We are disciples of Him alone. If we place our loyalty in anyone else, we can create division and jeopardize our eternal soul.
As always, you are remembered in my daily prayers before the Most Blessed Sacrament.
+ Bishop Schlert