Yesterday’s gospel reading (Matthew 4:12 – 17) marks not only the leave taking of the feast of the Epiphany but brings to focus the reason for the incarnation of our Lord. Christ now begins his earthly ministry. He does so, not in the Judaic stronghold of Jerusalem but around Capernaum. He does not attempt to immediately change the Pharisees who controlled Jerusalem but rather focuses on the lost tribes of the house of Israel. He focuses on those people rejected as ” Gentiles” by the Pharisees, and hence were considered by them to be unclean.
The apostle Matthew wrote his gospel principally for the believing Jewish community. Those were well versed in messianic prophecy. By grounding the incarnation, epiphany and the commencement of his ministry in Scripture what Matthew is in effect saying to his Jewish audience is that this Jesus is HE the Messiah that has been promised by the Scriptures. Believe in him and you will be saved. Reject him and you reject salvation!
The apostle refers to “the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.” How many of us today sit in darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. There is no such thing as more dark or less stark. It is the light that drives out the darkness or the lack of light that allows it to permeate. Darkness comes in all forms – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. He who has light shines forth in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome of the light.
The apostle reminds us that those that sit in the region and shadow of death now have the dawning of the light to drive out fear. Accordingly, we should now be emboldened by this message of salvation. As Christ himself says: “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12). Let us accordingly put on the armour of light and join the side of Christ and the certainty that we are His.
The programme for this week is as follows:
Next Sunday, 21 January, our parish will be hosting the function of St Basil’s. It promises to be a great time. Please refer to the attachment for further information. The event is free and all are welcome.
Please find attached preliminary notice of meeting for those that may be interested.
The darkness of the human heart is far more inventive in perceiving fears because the imagination is a Demon within which causes us to shy away from the light because it knows exactly what fears can paralyse each and every one of us. Without light all fear is real. With light all fear vanishes. Each of us has the power to open the eyes of our heart or to keep them tightly shut. The choice is ours.
Till next time.
Father John Athanasiou – 0411 061 554