Monday, March 26, 2007

Local Resident Makes Good

God bless the Franciscans. They are the ones on the ground in Israel who preserve the ancient holy sites through "Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land." They were primarily responsible for excavating Capernaum in the twentieth century. Franciscan archaeologist Fr. Virgilio C. Corbo and his assistant Stanislao Loffreda worked at Capernaum almost without interruption from 1968 to 1991. The sign on the gate calls the town "Capharnaum." Caphar means "village" and Naum is a person's name, although we don't know who that was.

Located on the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum was a thriving village from around 2000 B.C. to 1000 A.D. During the time of Jesus it was an attractive place to live. Matthew's Gospel [4:12-13] says:

"Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and made his home in
Capernaum by the sea . . ."

As best as we can tell from scripture, five of Jesus' disciples were recruited in Capernaum -- Andrew and his brother Peter, James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee, and Matthew the tax collector. It was there that Jesus raised to life the daughter of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue. There he cured the servant of the Centurion - the Roman captain in charge of a hundred Roman soldiers. Jesus said of him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this." (Luke 7:9)

It was in Capernaum that Jesus embraced the wider world with his Good News that God loves everyone. We could go and do likewise.

Pastor Linda
The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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