The arrest of St. John the Baptist marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. St. John the Baptist’s arrest was heartbreaking for Jesus. This was His relative and childhood friend. We can recall the powerful Gospel story when St. John leapt in the womb of Elizabeth when meeting Jesus. St. John would later grow up to become the voice crying out in the desert to prepare the way for the Messiah, and his arrest set Jesus’ public ministry into motion.
St. John the Baptist chose to live a life with few physical possessions, in the harsh desert. Jesus, on the other hand, would begin His ministry in a land full of water and beauty. In this Gospel, Jesus traveled to Capernaum to start His ministry. Capernaum is the land where life bloomed, blossomed, and there was water! There is a vast difference between Capernaum by the sea and the lifeless desert. Jesus went to the land of water and life to begin his ministry and in many ways taught us that He is the way, the truth, and the life.
In the Gospel today, Jesus says, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And the words of Isaiah are also inserted: “The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light.” Jesus desires to free us from our darkness. Sin blocks, clouds, and distorts our perspective, and yet the darkness of the world cannot blot out the light of Christ.
How do we allow the light of Christ into our hearts? Jesus is clear in this Gospel that we need to repent of our past sins and seek the Kingdom of God. Notice that Jesus takes the initiative to allow us to trust Him. This Gospel passage states that “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.” We should not be discouraged from our past, but rather trust Jesus and be healed.
Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is the co-founder of www.inspirethefaith.com and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network www.WelcomeHisHeart.com. She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic Mom.com.
Feature Image Credit: ferchu1965, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/4391-paisaje-marino