Today’s Gospel: Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25
How do you know what you believe? Do you believe because you have always believed? If someone were to ask you, “How do you know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?” would you be able to explain your faith?
Today’s Gospel reading may seem unimportant. Jesus hears about John’s arrest and goes to live in Capernaum. We hear a few words quoted from Isaiah and then we learn about Jesus’ miracles. It almost reads like a newspaper article, one that simply shares the news without coloring it with personal opinion.
We are tempted to chalk this reading up to one of those “random” readings that the Church decided to throw in there to make sure it covered its bases; however, this is no random reading. During the time of the early Church, the Apostles faced the insurmountable challenge of convincing their fellow Jews that Jesus Christ was not only the Son of God, but the Risen Lord – the true Messiah. Matthew quoted Isaiah 9:1-2 to prove to the Jews that Jesus was the foretold Messiah.
To further understand the intentions of the Apostles, and of the evangelization mission of the Catholic Church, we turn to the Catechism which reads, “Indeed, the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so oriented that is should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men.” (CCC 121)
Friends, we have a mission. A mission that has never disappeared, but has merely been forgotten. We have a call to share our faith, to grow our Church. However, we cannot accomplish that if we do not have a firm understanding of who Christ was, is, and is to come. The first reading talks about testing the spirits. How do we do that if we don’t fully believe and know our faith?
Consider this gospel reading and reflection not only a call to your evangelization mission, but an outline for how to accomplish it. Matthew knew the Scriptures. Open your bibles and read them. Open your Catechism and read it. St. Jerome once said: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” (CCC 133) Don’t stay stuck in this rut of reading and not understanding. Delve into the Word of God. Study it, own it, share it.
Is there a bible study at my parish that I can attend? Do I have time in the morning or in the evening to read the Bible?
Lord Jesus, you are the Word made flesh. Help me desire and venerate your written Word as much as I desire and venerate your most precious Body and Blood. (DV21)
Copyright 2019 Kelly Tallen
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