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Pope Francis reflects on Christ’s preaching in Galilee

January 23, 2017

During his January 22 Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt. 4:12-23).

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Capernaum, the cosmopolitan trading town for which Christ set out, was—from the point of view of Jerusalem—“geographically on the periphery and religiously impure, because it was full of pagans, given the mixture with all those who did not belong to Israel,” the Pope said to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Great things for the history of salvation were certainly not expected from Galilee.”

Yet the light of Christ “spread in fact from the periphery,” he continued, and Christ’s method was different from John the Baptist’s: “Jesus chooses to be an itinerant prophet. He does not wait for the people, but goes to encounter them. Jesus is always on the way!”

The Pope also reflected on how Christ called Peter and Andrew, James and John:

The call reaches them in the midst of their everyday activity: the Lord reveals Himself to us not in an extraordinary or striking way, but in the everyday of our life. We must find the Lord there; and He reveals Himself there, makes our heart feel His love; and there—with this dialogue with Him in the everyday of our life—our heart changes.

“The first community of Christ’s disciples was born on the shores of the lake, in an unthinkable land,” Pope Francis added. “May the awareness of these beginnings arouse in us the desire to take the Word, the love and tenderness of Jesus to every context, even the most impervious and resistant. To take the Word to all the peripheries!”


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