(The Gospels this week begin to describe the public ministry of Jesus.)
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee…From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.
(Mt 4:12-17, 23-25)
In Matthew’s Gospel, the very first word spoke publicly by Jesus is: “Repent.”
I’ve heard it before. However, the word “repent” doesn’t mean (as it is often thought to mean) simply beating your breast, and promising to do penance to make up for your sins. It means literally to re-think… to see things in a new way.
When I begin a day, I can automatically fall into a routine way of thinking, fed by the news, traffic and weather reports, opinion polls… My world becomes flat.
“Repent” means to “re-think” – to see a wider, deeper world, a world in which God is present, a world with a destiny that goes beyond history and flows into the kingdom of God.
Prayer opens my eyes to that world.
It’s the real world.
Take a look at it through new eyes. The way God sees it.