This Sunday, the Sunday following the Great Feast of Theophany, speaks to us from the gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 4 Verses 12-17, about the beginning of Jesus’ work and ministry in Galilee, for it was like a great light which began to shine on all. After all Theophany is the Feast of Lights.  This is the fulfillment of the prophecy when Jesus went to the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali to begin his earthly ministry to the people who lived in darkness, but saw a great light!  “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand”.

True repentance means a deliberate and decisive resolve to change course and to embark on a new direction. You see, brothers and sisters, repentance is God’s offer to us for a fresh start.  God calls us to take off the old mantle and clothe ourselves with the love and forgiveness that He freely offers to us, liberating whatever enslaves us and keeps us from his abiding love.

God told us to concentrate and turn our eyes from ourselves and rather look toward God and His kingdom: “Turn away from your sins, because the Kingdom is near!”

The good news of this gospel is the Kingdom of God is always near…the Kingdom of God is God Himself in his personal presence, gracious power, healing forgiveness and renewing love experienced through Christ.

In conclusion as we affirm our faith in Christ and practice his teachings daily in whatever we do, the new creation takes hold in us, helping us to maintain a right relationship with God, ourselves, others and everything in the world.

O Christ, the true Light who illumines and sanctifies every person who comes into the world, let the light of your face shine upon us so that we may see Your unapproachable light; and direct our steps according to Your commandments, by the intercessions of Your most pure Mother and of all the saints. Amen!
(First Great Hour – Forefeast of Theophany)

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