THE GOOD NEWS ON THE KINGDOM OF GOD – Homily by Metropolitan Jonah on the 2nd Sunday of Matthew

Biblical reading (Ro 2:10-16, Mt 4:18-23)

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called (after) Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 Jesus called them. Come, follow me! and I will send you out to fish for people. 20 At once they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets when Jesus called them. 22 And immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. 23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people”.

It is the second lesson from Evangelist Matthew. The first lesson is that we attended on the day of All Saints. As we saw last week, the most essential period of our lessons, on faith and life, is that of the Resurrection and Passover, from the land of ungodly ones to the land of godliness, holiness and faithfulness, under the control of the Holy Spirit, in Christ Jesus the Lord. That is the message of Good News, concerning the call from our God the Father, through Christ the Word, the Holy Spirit, the Apostles, the Priests and all the preachers, so that personally and communally or socially we may participate in His heavenly kingdom.

Both the passages of today emphasize the necessity of preaching the good news (Ro 10:14,17) concerning God’s kingdom in the midst of human beings and nations.

The beginning of Christ’s Work

Along the shore of Lake Galilee, Christ began the work by calling two pairs of brothers/Fishermen: Simon (Peter) and Andrew, James and John. “Come with me, and I will teach you how to fish human beings” from the world! Christ invited them. Immediately, they left their boats, their fathers or relatives, and started to be the first followers of Christ Jesus in His mission.

Apostle Paul also explains the function of “good” and “conscience” in the passage of today. All English-speaking individuals, who are advanced or trained in ethics, know that the word God is derived from “good” or Gut (Germany). And “conscience” is a spiritual power in human beings. It is the center of all spiritual activities, as the root of the “image” and “likeness” (Gn 1:27). Human beings become accountable or responsible, because of possession of this spiritual power from God. Humans become responsible of their own choices and actions. Therefore, even the so important science of ethics for humans is cultivated on grounds of this power. And not only ethics, but all spiritual development and civilization is founded on this godly power.

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