“Follow me,” Jesus says, and four young men immediately leave what they are doing to be with him. It is impossible to know what was in their hearts… Maybe Jesus’ words excited their imagination and stirred hope for a world very different from the one in which they lived. Poverty was everywhere. Nutrition was poor, work was hard, food insecurity was constant, and life expectancy was short. Meanwhile, Rome kept order with the ever-present threat of brutality. … Amid disheartening realities, Jesus offers a beautiful hope: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
“Repent” is not a moralistic demand. The word literally means to go beyond your current mindset. Jesus’ proclamation invites us to see and participate in the world in a fundamentally different way. The kingdom of heaven was near: Jesus’ words and healings restored lives and hopes,…the light of God’s mercy had dawned in a new way, especially on those who were suffering.
The kingdom brings healing to us, right here and now…. It comforts and gives hope to those wounded by life. It announces God’s forgiveness. It calls for justice for the poor and pours divine mercy on the oppressed and vulnerable.
Jesus calls to us,… Follow me, he says. You will see the world in a whole new way.
excerpt from sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.