Sunday Gospel Reflection January 26
The following is an excerpt from Cora Evans’ work, The Refugee from Heaven, selected as a reflection for the Sunday Gospel reading, Matthew 4:12-23.
“I am not a tradesman,” Jesus answered. “In fact, I am a poor man. However, I am a teacher of the philosophy behind the New Law, which is to teach you and everyone else on earth about the love of God.”
Simon tried to hide his surprise. Surely this powerful-looking Man could not be a philosopher. Such men were usually frail and hidden in prayer in the synagogues.
He exclaimed, “You're joking with me! I need men like You with good physiques and great knowledge to man my ships. What do You say now? Be here tomorrow before dawn and I'll hire You as my assistant.”
Jesus said nothing, so Simon continued, “I would like to learn more of Your wisdom concerning the new way of love for God, for we all expect the Messiah to arrive and dwell with us during this age, as You no doubt well know. However, we don't know just exactly when that will be.”
Still Jesus did not say anything.
Simon went on, “Work on my ship will be a good change for You. Perhaps You need to get away from the quiet life You must be accustomed to in Nazareth. In fact, if You come with me, You will get an enlightened view of the world and of the people who live about You. In mixing with them, You will realize that the question uppermost in their minds is, when will the Messiah come? Your philosophy should be very useful to all of us after He has arrived. Do you happen to possess facts or figures as to when we might expect Him?”
Jesus smiled slightly as He answered, “I am not seeking work, but I thank you very much for your kind offer. I choose to continue My search for wounded souls, for I can give them hope through the love of God and His mercy. His ways are those of merciful consolation, love, and hope for eternal life after death, since this life soon ends for all of us. I find great joy in doing this, for it makes Me a physician of souls.”
Simon marveled at this Man's words. More than ever he wished he could persuade Him to work on his ship. However, if He would not do that, perhaps He would tell his crew just what He had told him. Jesus promised to do as Simon wished the following evening. The two men parted, and as Simon hurried on into town he thought over what the Nazarene had taught him – especially about guarding against rash judgment, a fault he had failed to see in himself before.
He would have to tell Rosa Marie and Andrew, who lived with them, about this Jesus of Nazareth. He and Andrew had often discussed the coming of the Messiah (as indeed, who had not?), and they had often hoped they might be among the fortunate ones to live on earth when He did come. Anything new concerning Him was of great interest to both of them. Yes, he could hardly wait to tell Andrew about Jesus and about what He had said concerning God.