Jesus fulfills prophecy by establishing His base of evangelization in Galilee. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Prudence so he can regularly perform a rigorous Examination of Conscience and be healed in the Sacrament of Penance and by growing in the Virtue of Charity so he always brings the sick to be healed by Jesus in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Christmastime – Monday after Epiphany or January 7 – Mt 4:12-17, 23-25
Following the miraculous manifestation of God the Father and the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ baptism, and His grueling 40-day ordeal in the wilderness, Jesus emerges from the wilderness and learns that John the Baptist has been arrested. Jesus returns to the region of Galilee, first to His home-town of Nazareth, and then relocates to the larger and more important trading town of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus’ choice to begin His public ministry in Galilee fulfills past prophecy (Is 8:23-9:1) and establishes future prophecy. Looking to the past, the land of Galilee was home to the ancient Jewish tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali, the first to be exiled 800 years earlier; now the people of this region are the first to be redeemed by Jesus. Looking to the future, Jesus is the great light who will call all men, including Gentiles (non-Jews), to His Holy Catholic Church. In anticipation of the establishment of His Catholic Church, Jesus urges all to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.
After the remarkable call of the “brothers” Apostles (Peter and Andrew, James and John), Jesus begins to preach and heal throughout Galilee, using Jewish synagogues, a Jewish “assembly” building, used for prayer, instruction in Scripture and meetings, and natural settings. Jesus heals all the sick, including the “impossible” cases (epileptics, paralytics and even the demon-possessed); those who witness the miracles know Jesus has done the impossible and large crowds follow Him. Expanding beyond Galilee, Jesus travels to the Decapolis (the 10 cities), Gentile cities with strong Greek cultures located primarily east of the Jordan River.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be impressed by the centrality of prophets in the course of Salvation History and that Jesus is the greatest and final prophet, for He is the Divine Prophet: Person of the Trinity, Jesus inspires Isaiah 700 years earlier to predict His early public ministry in Galilee; Jesus, consistent with Israel’s great prophets of the past, begins His ministry with distinctly prophetic acts (preaching of repentance, healing of infirmities); like the great prophets of the Old Testament, Jesus will be murdered by His own people; unlike previous prophets, the Divine Prophet will bring eternal salvation to those willing to accept Him.
Rigorously examine your conscience
Realize: Many men are “stuck” in their faith lives, failing to grow in holiness on the way to eternity. Jesus commands men to repent from sin as the first required step of the spiritual life (Mk 1:15); it is a call for each man to fiercely and continually engage in the Spiritual Combat against every sin in his life.
Believe: Reflect upon the Church’s teachings about Repentance (CCC 1422-1498).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prudence, help me grow in the Virtue of Prudence so I can shrewdly use my reason to rigorously Examine my Conscience, repent from sin, and be forgiven by You in the Sacrament of Penance.
Bring the sick to Jesus
Realize: While it is prudent to help others receive modern healthcare, a Catholic man is also called to imitate the men who brought the sick to Jesus during the Incarnation: bringing the sick to Jesus can be done through intercessory prayer, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, by caring for and visiting the sick and by telling them about Jesus.
Believe: Reflect upon your obligation to Care for the Sick (CCC 1506-1510, 1526-1532, 2208, 2247, 2276).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Physician, help me grow in the Virtue of Charity so that I joyfully care for the sick and dying and help them better know and trust in You.