January 7

The announcement is: «Repent!»

When he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. …. 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.” 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. His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him. Mt 4,12-17.23-25

The proclamation of the gospel passed into the history as a baton which goes from one athlete to another, in a relay race which will be held until the end of the times. John was arrested and he ended his run, Jesus takes up the baton and he starts his way to Calvary; then the baton remains to the Church, which will begin his fraction with Peter, Paul and the other apostles and they too will end with the martyrdom. This message, which for two thousand years has passed from one person to another, is now in the hands of the today Church, of which we too are part. Probably our journey does not end with an arrest or the martyrdom, like John the Baptist, but if we run a good fraction, we also know the persecution, which may be an opportunity for further testimony, as it was for all those who have preceded us. Jesus shows us the stadium in which we should run now, it is the Galilee of the people, the place of our daily lives. What we should proclaim is not the law, as it happened among the Jews of the Old Testament, or some opinions, as it is often the habit today, in this age of rampant relativism, but Jesus Christ, Son of God who died on the cross at the Calvary and resurrected. It is to this message that we should be converted, “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. It is close because the time is short and it is urgent that the people believe the message of the gospel and that they change their lives, because every person has the right to travel that path of freedom where Jesus travelled first. The announcement is: “Repent!”. The conversion brings a new sense of “justice”, a new “freedom” from the things of this world, the “peace” in the hearts of those who came to the springs of the life, the ”abundance” as a result of the Providence, the “truth” of those who have understood the ultimate meaning of the human events and of the history, the ”loyalty” to the Lord, and the  ”love” for the men, whoever and wherever they are. It is another way of living.

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