Although only 14 verses into the gospel narrative, Mark has already introduced us to John the Baptist, Jesus has been baptized and tempted in the desert. Then, in a typically abbreviated style, Mark merely refers in passing to the whole story of John’s denunciation of Herod for immorality, and John’s consequent imprisonment and death.
But now, from this moment begins the preaching of the good news by Jesus. Mark’s “gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” began at v.1; now the “good news of God” begins, as Jesus’ first words are heard: “This is the time of fulfillment” (v. 15). Continue reading
This coming Sunday is the 29th Sunday in Year B of the lectionary cycle. In previous posts we have explored the request for glory from the Apostles James and John: ““Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” (Mark 10:37). Jesus has questioned if they really understand what they are asking and its consequences: “Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” The two apostles respond: “We can.” Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” Continue reading
I remember family road trips when I was a child. All my cousins on my father’s side lived in Atlanta. My dad was the only one of the 7 siblings that did not live in Atlanta. Each year – sometimes over Thanksgiving, sometimes over Christmas – we would load up the car with kids, bags, and whatnot and off we went. There were games, snacks, and drinks for us all. There was a suitcase with my clothes. The car was serviced, the oil checked, and the gas tank filled. This was before the days of the interstate highways and so there was route planning that needed to be done. I contributed to none of that. My only job was to be on time having recently gone to the bathroom and subsequently thoroughly washed my hands. I wasn’t in charge or responsible for any task or duties. I was 8 years old. Continue reading
In today’s gospel, Jesus sends the disciples out on their first mission. In the fast paced Markan gospel, the disciples had seen Jesus working for the kingdom and had been helped to reflect on the meaning of his activity and his message. They had seen his commitment and the how his service to the Kingdom came as a priority to his own needs. When tracked down after finding a quiet place to pray, when told of the need to minister to the people, Jesus responded: “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” (Mk 1:38)
This coming Sunday marks our journey in Ordinary Time, the 21st Sunday in Year C. You can read a complete commentary on the Sunday Gospel here.
22 He passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. 25 After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26 And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ 27 Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where (you) are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” (Luke 13:22-30) Continue reading
23 He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. 24 His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 25 And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him. Continue reading