And leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: ‘The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.’ From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent (Μετανοεῖτε, Change your mind/focus), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” (Mt 4: 13-17)

This is the very first word spoken to us by our Lord Jesus Christ: “Repent! (Μετανοεῖτε)” He says, which means “Change your mind” or your “focus.” It is not only a call to change, but a reassurance that change is possible. I can turn things around every day, at any moment, whenever I (re)-focus on Christ’s enduring Presence in my life, and on the simple fact that His kingdom is “at hand,” within my reach. Not in a galaxy far, far away.

Today, as many Christians celebrate Ash Wednesday and begin Lent, – although my Church will only begin Lent a month from now – I’m reminded that I can also embrace change this morning, and re-focus on the “great light” that has “dawned” upon us, in the coming to us of God’s Only-Begotten Son, in the flesh. As I make healthy adjustments to my daily prayer, eating, sleeping, and exercise schedules today, I thank You, Lord, for lighting up my life with positive change. “Now have I made a beginning; this change has been wrought by the right hand of the Most High.” (Ps 76/77: 10, LXX)