Gospel Reflection


3rd Sunday after Epiphany

 26 January, 2020

“Faith is an act of a finite being who is grasped by, and turned to, the infinite.” – Paul Tillich

In this Gospel Matthew reports Jesus’ very first message as he begins to preach after being baptized, and after coming out of the wilderness of temptation.  His message is “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17)  He does not say the kingdom “will” come near as if next year or even only in the afterlife.  He is saying that it is already here in this life.  The word “repent” simply means to turn again.  It could mean to turn from sin.  Perhaps more poignantly in this context it means to turn around and face the kingdom.  There we find the infinite, who is luring and enticing us to a world beyond our imagination.  Just turn and look.   We don’t need to die to enter the kingdom.  We just need to turn and look.  Often in this world when we turn, we see the helpless, the sad, the lonely, and the deprived.  Then we are repulsed and disgusted, and so we turn away.  But all through the New and Old Testaments there is a clear message that God dwells in a special way with the marginalized and poor, poor in whatever way.   So let us not turn away from the kingdom where God is, dwells, lives, and with whom God weeps.  The kingdom of God is here now.  Jesus was not mistaken.  Let us repent, turn again, and walk into darkness, especially into the darkness of our suffering neighbors.  It will be fine, because the darkness has seen a great light (Matthew 4:16).







Often it is difficult to pray alone at home,so why not try http://www.pray-as-you-go.org/ this links you with praying Christians around the world, of many traditions- offering scripture, silence, beautiful music, reflection time, space for contemplation and intercession.

St Barnabas’ Parish Prayer


May the people of this Parish be never ceasing in prayer, so that we may all be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Help us to lead lives worthy of God, fully pleasing to him while bearing fruit in every good work.

May we all be made strong in the power of God, who rescues us from the powers of darkness and transfers us to the Kingdom of his Son in whom we have forgiveness of sins,