From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, â€œRepent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.â€
This is the Fifth Sunday after Christmas. As weâ€™ve been studying, Christmas is a season focused on Jesusâ€™ revelation.
Jesusâ€™ revelation came first to the shepherds – the poor, lowly, and outcasts of that territory. At the arrival of the Maji, Jesus was revealed to the nations of the world. As Jesus rose up from the waters of the Jordan at His baptism the nation of Israel came to know Him as the Son of God by the descent of the Holy Spirit and the voice of the Father saying: â€œThis is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.â€ The Baptizer finally saw clearly who Jesus is, recognizing Him as the Lamb of God come to take away the sins of the world, and he declared it.
Recalling all this, we see the many and varied ways Jesus was revealed. As we hear today, at Capernaum, there was no heavenly choir to announce Jesusâ€™ arrival. There were no scientists from the east with precious gifts and a mighty star to follow. There was no opening of heaven, descent of a dove, or voice of the Father as at the Jordan. All Jesus had in Capernaum was His voice, His call.
In a season focused on revelation, Jesus comes among us saying: â€œCome after me, and I will make you fishers of men.â€ Jesus delivers His message, His gospel: â€œRepent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,â€ Jesus invites us to allow Him to be revealed within us. He invites us to realize Who He is. He invites us to get up and get out into the world in response as disciples carrying His message.
Today, the Gospel recalls Jesusâ€™ arrival in Capernaum by the sea. In Capernaum, Jesus calls the first of His disciples, Andrew, the first called, followed by Simon, aka Peter, aka Cephas, James, and John. They respond fully to the awakening in their hearts. Jesus is revealed, not by signs and wonders, but by their response to interior awakening and revelation.
At Capernaum we find a new and ever permanent call to revelation. This revelation is in Jesusâ€™ words and our call to respond. Like all those called before us, let us allow Jesusâ€™ life to be awakened in us in ever new and great ways. Jesus is calling! Allow His revelation to take hold. Leave the old self behind and go out as His revelation to a searching world. Today, here in Schenectady, as in Capernaum, we hear Jesus. Allow Him to be revealed in us and by our response.