Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jesus Christ, the light who has risen

"Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen."

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'" (Matt. 4:15-17).

This excerpt from today's Gospel, in which Jesus begins his public ministry by moving from Nazareth to Capernaum by the sea, speaks directly to my heart after the events of the past two weeks. Matthew's point is direct: Jesus Christ is the "great light" that shines on us. Otherwise, we sit in the darkness of a land overshadowed by death. His call of repentance is nothing other than the change necessitated by our recognition of the fact that He conquered death. Repentance, which means so much more than just being sorry for our sins, or even having a firm purpose of amendment, is what Don Giussani discussed as living in the awareness, not only of my own destiny, but that of all with whom I come into contact, regardless of circumstances. Jesus is the one who teaches us that to truly love another means loving his/her destiny.

Reading the letters in the current issue of Traces last night before going to sleep, I was struck by a letter from Jerry Brungardt in which he discusses "the gaze" of Christ and how we experience His gaze through the eyes of others. Being able to look at another with "the gaze" is what it means to love another by loving her/his destiny. It is also what it means to truly see. Jerry concludes his letter by writing "I beg that I will be able to share with others this gaze... as I look more and more on reality- and those around me- as a friend, as an opportunity for me in my conversion, to recognize Christ in the here and now."


  1. our pastor told us today that Naphtali means to twist or wrestle, but that Zebulon means to dwell or God's gift.

  2. "The Gaze..."

    Sounds quite Powerful...I want that...