Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

2nd Sunday of Advent
Reading I:
Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11 II: 2Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way;
3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight--"
4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey.
7 And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.
8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Interesting Details
  • (v.1) In only one other place of Mark's Gospel does a human being proclaim that Jesus is Son of God: the centurion who put Jesus to death in 15:39. According to Mark, no one else would recognize Jesus' true identity while living with him and witnessing his powerful teaching and healing.
  • (v.3) It was through the terrible wilderness that God led Israel out of the slavery in Egypt in the original Exodus; and it was also through the dreaded wilderness that God brought Israel out of Babylonian exile in the second Exodus. John's appearance as the voice in the wilderness is the sign that in the wilderness God is about to renew his covenant with Israel.
  • (v.5) "... ALL the country of Judea, and ALL the people of Jerusalem ..." conveys an excitement that must have been experienced by those who heard John preach. Their conversion is described in a threefold manner: First, they "went out to him", to return to the "wilderness". Second, they undergo the ritual of baptism as the sign demonstrating their inner repentance. And third, they confess their sins.
  • (v.6) The arrival of John himself had been announced: he is the messenger (Malachi 3:1) and the wilderness prophet (Is 40:3). Like the prophet Elijah, John is clothed with a leather belt and the hairy garment of a prophet. This continues the allusion to John as the God-sent messenger-Elijah who will prepare the way of Jesus and thus enhances Mark's portrayal of John as the expected Elijah figure.

One Main Point

John calls the people of his time - and calls us, as well - to repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The main emphasis, however, is on the proclamation of Jesus as the one to come who surpasses John and whose baptism surpasses John's.

  1. Have you ever had to wait to receive "word" about something? What emotions did you experience as you waited?
  2. Were John to appear with this message today, what one place would you choose for him to declare it?

21 posted on 12/03/2011 9:13:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies ]

To: All
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Second Sunday of Advent
First Reading:
Second Reading:
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Psalm 85:9-14
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God.

-- St Vincent Ferrer

22 posted on 12/03/2011 9:19:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson