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Key words and phrases: John had been arrested, darkness ... great light, Jesus began to preach, He called them, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom
To the point: John’s ministry is finished; with his arrest, the tradition of Old Testament prophets dies. Enter Jesus, inaugurating a new reality. Jesus calls Peter and Andrew, James and John to leave their life as they knew it and become disciples who now proclaim the “gospel of the kingdom.” Humanity moves now from darkness into “a great light.” New teaching happens now. New healing comes now. New Life is given now. Now, a new Presence.
To the First Reading: The darkness to which Isaiah refers is a political reality of oppression and subjugation. The “great light” symbolizes Israel’s deliverance and freedom. By situating Jesus in the same land of darkness, Matthew is asserting that the great light shining in the darkness is Jesus.
To Experience: We easily identify figures of immense personal presence (Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.) who changed the course of human history. Jesus’ personal Presence is so utterly immense that he even more dramatically changed the course of human history.