We have arrived at the Sunday After Theophany, where we hear about the beginning of Jesus’ work in Galilee, describing it as a “great light that began to shine on all”.
Jesus had heard that John the Baptist had been put in prison and he went to Galilee to live in Capernaum, fulfilling a prophecy by the Prophet Isaiah, that out of the land of Zebulon and Naphtali, the land of the Gentiles, where people who lived in darkness, had seen a great light.
At the conclusion of the passage from the Gospel, Jesus calls for repentance as the way to see Christ’s Light, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”.
True repentance signifies a deliberate and decisive resolve to change course and to head in a new direction. Simply put, repentance is God’s offer for a fresh start, but we must turn towards Him in order to be liberated and forgiven. We must leave the old self in order to experience the new. That’s a very important point for many of us have great difficulty casting off the old, often retaining vestiges of our old self, thus not trusting genuinely in His call to us.
You see the kingdom of God is always near! The kingdom of God is God Himself in His personal presence, gracious power, healing forgiveness, and renewed love experienced through Christ! This is the message, the “evangelismos”, of this gospel but more so Jesus Christ himself!
Let us heed the words of this Gospel as we continue in the glory of the Theophany, the manifestation of Christ to the world.