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Something to think and pray about this week

As all parents must, the Lady Mary and Joseph of Nazareth watched their boy begin to make up his mind about what to do with his life. There were cultural pressures, of course, one of them being the question of whether he would marry or not. His cousin John was moving toward the life led by the ancient prophets. Jesus thought seriously about his cousin’s way, as his fasting and prayer in the desert suggest. But he was deeply attracted by and attached to the revealed word of God—Jesus cites the Pentateuch, the prophets, and the Psalms a lot—and he came to appreciate his vocation to serve the Father by spreading the Good News among the people.

When it was time to start his public work, he left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake (Matthew 4:13). He went to synagogue on Sabbath and sometimes taught. He paid the temple tax there. He cured Peter’s mother-in-law of her fever and the centurion’s little servant of his painful paralysis. He cured so many others in Capernaum that the people he grew up with in Nazareth grew jealous (see Luke 4:23). And sometimes there were so many guests in the house that the only way to get a sick man to him was through the roof.

Mature discernment draws us through the mystery of the universal Savior to encounter Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter’s son. What does his human life show us? To begin with, Jesus discerned the fullness of his vocation only slowly as his life unfolded. In his public life, he gathered seventy-two disciples who were willing to go to others and tell about the Good News. From among them, he chose twelve with whom he worked on “the challenge of finding and sharing a ‘mystique’ of living together, of mingling and encounter, of embracing and supporting one another.”

- Excerpted from Always Discerning by Fr. Joseph Tetlow, SJ