February 24, 2022
The past few weeks we had the privilege to stay and pray in Galilee. We lived right along the sea and had five days of silence in preparation for our coming ordinations.
In that time of silence, we’d have afternoons free to ourselves, and I spent many of mine exploring the surrounding shoreline. What I found was a better perspective of Christ’s ministry in Galilee.
The Mount of Beatitudes (where Jesus gave his sermon on the Mount), the city of Capernaum (where St. Peter’s home is located), the location where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, and even the Primacy of Peter (where St. Peter reaffirmed his love for Christ three times in John 21: 15-18) are all within two miles of each other, some much closer together.
Seeing this brought home the reality of Christ’s ministry to me. It was all made so real because it just made sense. No wonder Peter was a fisherman; his home is no more than 100 yards from the shoreline. No wonder that after Jesus preached in the synagogue of Capernaum; He stayed with Peter whose home is also no more than 100 yards away (Luke 4:31-38).
What impressed me more than anything was how localized Jesus’s ministry was. He spent most of His public ministry in Galilee, in and around the sea whose total circumference is about 33 miles. I often imagined Jesus traveling far and wide to make Himself known, but He stayed remarkably local, and people would flock to Him.
In a similar way, I’ve always had this vision of ministry and priesthood that required going far afield and trying to bring in large swathes of people. If I’m truly modeling my life off of Christ, though, that means it’s devoting all I can to the locale I’m in and the people in front of me. I don’t have to travel far; I just have to engage personally and lovingly with those entrusted to me.
Diocese of Joliet