Scripture Reading for Today: Mark 1:14-20 (read it here)
Jesus begins his public ministry after the arrest of John the Baptist. John had announced that someone greater than he was coming after him, and Jesus is now ready to take center stage.
The people of Jerusalem and Judea went to the wilderness to hear John preach. Other than for his death and resurrection, most of Jesus’ ministry takes place in Galilee.
In our Gospel passage we have the summary of the message of Jesus—the dominant concepts of the Christian faith.
Note he uses the word “gospel,” which means “good news”; and it is pre-eminently good news that Jesus comes to bring to us.
With Jesus we have the good news of truth. Until Jesus came, we could only guess and grope after God, and we could see him only dimly. But with the coming of Jesus, we see clearly what God is like, and we no longer need to guess and grope.
With Jesus we have the good news of hope. Often, we see situations of negativity, pessimism, defeat, and helplessness. The coming of Jesus brings us hope and optimism.
With Jesus we have the good news of peace. If we are not at war with one another, there is always war in our personality where the beast and the angel are strangely intermingled, where proportion and harmony mingle with ugly gaps and ruins. Within ourselves there is always struggle between sin and goodness. But Jesus offers us peace, and we find victory over our warring self by being conquered by him.
With the coming of Jesus, we have the good news of salvation and immortality. It is in his resurrection that we have the power to live life victoriously, conquer sin, and find life rather than death.
Jesus calls us to repent, which literally means a change of mind. Often, we are sorry for our failures and the messes that result. But if we could be reasonably sure that we can escape the consequences, we would do the same thing again. In other words, it is not the sin we hate, but its consequences.
Real repentance means that we realize that we have walked away from the God who loves us infinitely, and we reject all that separates us from him.
“Believe in the gospel, believe in the good news,” says Jesus. To believe in the good news simply means to take Jesus at his word; it is to believe that God is the kind of God that Jesus has told us about; it is to believe that God loves the world and that he will make any sacrifice to bring us back to himself.
In the Eucharist we affirm that our relationship with the Lord is our priority.
Let us commit ourselves again to leave behind all that prevents us from pursuing God’s will in our lives.
Sustained by Mary, let us also accept what Jesus asks of us in our daily life with joy.
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Let us make this a blessed day.
Keep Jesus in your mind and heart and share him with all you meet.
Fr. Michael Brizio, IMC
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