Today's section of St Matthew's Gospel covers the ministry of St John the Baptist and the calling of the first of the disciples:
 And when Jesus had heard that John was delivered up, he retired into Galilee:  And leaving the city Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capharnaum on the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim;  That it might be fulfilled which was said by Isaias the prophet:  Land of Zabulon and land of Nephthalim, the way of the sea beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people that sat in darkness, hath seen great light: and to them that sat in the region of the shadow of death, light is sprung up.  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say: Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers).  And he saith to them: Come ye after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men.  And they immediately leaving their nets, followed him.  And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets: and he called them.  And they forthwith left their nets and father, and followed him.  And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom: and healing all manner of sickness and every infirmity, among the people.  And his fame went throughout all Syria, and they presented to him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and such as were possessed by devils, and lunatics, and those that had palsy, and he cured them:  And much people followed him from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
Or in Latin:
Cum autem audisset Jesus quod Joannes traditus esset, secessit in Galilæam: 13 et, relicta civitate Nazareth, venit, et habitavit in Capharnaum maritima, in finibus Zabulon et Nephthalim: 14 ut adimpleretur quod dictum est per Isaiam prophetam: Terra Zabulon, et terra Nephthalim,
The opening verses of this section should sound very familiar, for they quote from a prophesy of Isaiah used in one of the Christmas Canticles in the Benedictine Office. Here are some extracts St John Chrysostom's homily on these verses for your consideration:
"Now when Jesus had heard that John was delivered up, He departed into Galilee.
Wherefore does He depart? Again instructing us not to go to meet temptations, but to give place and withdraw ourselves. For it is no reproach, the not casting one's self into danger, but the failing to stand manfully when fallen into it. To teach us this accordingly, and to soothe the envy of the Jews, He retires to Capernaum; at once fulfilling the prophecy, and making haste to catch the teachers of the world: for they, as you know, were abiding there, following their craft.
But mark, I pray you, how in every case when He is about to depart unto the Gentiles, He has the occasion given Him by Jews. For so in this instance, by plotting against His forerunner, and casting him into prison, they thrust out Christ into the Galilee of the Gentiles. For to show that He neither speaks of the Jewish nation by a part of it, nor signifies obscurely all the tribes; mark how the Prophet distinguishes that place, saying The land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people which sat in darkness, saw great light: by darkness here not meaning that which is sensible, but men's errors and ungodliness. Wherefore he also added, They which sat in the region and shadow of death, to them light is sprung up. For that you might learn that neither the light nor the darkness which he speaks of are sensible, in discoursing of the light, he called it not merely light, but a great light which elsewhere he expresses by the word, True: John 1:9 and in describing the darkness, he termed it, a shadow of death.
Then implying that they did not of themselves seek and find, but that God showed Himself to them from above, he says to them, Light is sprung up; that is, the light of itself sprang up and shone forth: it was not that they first ran to the light. For in truth the condition of men was at the worst before Christ's coming. Since they more than walked in darkness; they sat in darkness; a kind of sign that they did not even hope to be delivered. For as persons not even knowing where to put a step forward, so they sat, overtaken by the darkness, not being able so much as to stand any more...."
St John also draws out for us some lessons from the calling of the Apostles:
"Let us therefore come unto Him, and let us ask nothing pertaining to this life, but rather remission of sins. For indeed He gives it even now, if we be in earnest. Since as then His fame went out into Syria, so now into the whole world. And they indeed ran together on hearing that He healed persons possessed: and you, after having much more and greater experience of His power, do you not rouse yourself and run?
But whereas they left both country, and friends, and kinsfolk; do you not endure so much as to leave your house for the sake of drawing near, and obtaining far greater things? Or rather we do not require of you so much as this, but leave your evil habits only, and you can easily be made whole, remaining at home with your friends.
But as it is, if we have any bodily ailment, we do and contrive everything to be rid of what pains us; but when our soul is indisposed, we delay, and draw back. For which cause neither from the other sort are we delivered: since the things that are indispensable are becoming to us secondary, and the secondary indispensable; and letting alone the fountain of our ills, we would fain cleanse out the streams.
For that our bodily ills are caused by the wickedness of the soul, is shown both by him that had the palsy thirty and eight years, and by him that was let down through the roof, and by Cain also before these; and from many other things likewise one may perceive this. Let us do away then with the well-spring of our evils, and all the channels of our diseases will be stayed. For the disease is not palsy only, but also our sin; and this more than that, by how much a soul is better than a body.
Let us therefore now also draw near unto Him; let us entreat Him that He would brace our paralyzed soul, and leaving all things that pertain to this life, let us take account of the things spiritual only. Or if you cleave unto these also, yet think of them after the other.
Neither must you think lightly of it, because you have no pain in sinning; rather on this very account most of all do thou lament, that you feel not the anguish of your offenses. For not because sin bites not, does this come to pass, but because the offending soul is insensible. Regard with this view them that have a feeling of their own sins, how they wail more bitterly than such as are being cut, or burned; how many things they do, how many suffer, how greatly they mourn and lament, in order to be delivered from their evil conscience. They would not do any such thing, unless they were exceedingly pained in soul.
The best thing then is, to avoid sin in the first instance: the next to it, is to feel that we sin, and thoroughly amend ourselves. But if we have not this, how shall we pray to God, and ask forgiveness of our sins, we who take no account of these matters? For when you yourself who hast offended art unwilling to know so much as this very fact, that you have sinned; for what manner of offenses will you entreat God for pardon? For what you know not? And how will you know the greatness of the benefit? Tell therefore your offenses in particular, that you may learn for what you receive forgiveness, that so you may become grateful towards your Benefactor.
But you, when it is a man whom you have provoked, entreatest friends, neighbors, and door-keepers, and spendest money, and consumest many days in visiting and petitioning, and though he that is provoked utterly reject you once, twice, ten thousand times over, you despond not, but becoming more earnest you make the more entreaty; but when the God of all is provoked, we gape, and throw ourselves back, and live in luxury and in drunkenness, and do all things as usual. And when shall we be able to propitiate Him? And how shall we by this very thing fail to provoke Him so much the more? For not so much sinning, as signing without even pain, causes in Him indignation and wrath. Wherefore it were meet after all this to sink into the very earth, and not so much as to behold this sun, nor to breathe at all, for that having so placable a Master, we provoke Him first, and then have no remorse for provoking Him. And yet He assuredly, even when He is angry, does not so as hating and turning away from us, but in order that in this way at least He may win us over to Himself. For if He continued after insult befriending you, you would the more despise Him. Therefore in order that this may not be, He turns away for a little while, to have you ever with Himself...."