FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Ushering in the New World

I was watching a video recently about the first line of the Gospel of Mark. I
believe the first line will help us to better understand the glory of God, and
how much of an impact Jesus is having on society.
The first line is: The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Let’s break it down a bit. The phrase “the beginning” refers back to Genesis
and the first line there, which says “In the beginning” Mark is saying that
Jesus is ushering in a new age, or a new beginning, where Christ is Lord. In
the “Gospel of Christ” Mark is saying that he is sharing the good news of Jesus
Christ, and invites all to enter into a new life in Christ. Lastly, with the phrase
“Son of God”, Mark is saying that Jesus truly is the Son of God, not anyone else. There were some like emperors
and false prophets who claimed to be the Son of God, but Mark is here to say that Jesus truly is the Son of God.
So when the Gospel reading says “They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, ‘What is this? A new
teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’ For a first century Jew, the
first line in the Gospel could not be more powerful, it speaks to the very heart of their belief in the Messiah that is to
come and save them.
For us today it reaffirms Jesus as our Lord and Savior and our need to see His 2000 year old teaching as essential to
our lives and our mission. How difficult it was for the earliest Christians who spread the good news of Jesus, in
very hostile territory. Many as we know, lost their lives in an effort to spread the Gospel of Christ. During this
week of Christian unity which ended a couple of days ago, I think it is a good time to pray for and remember the
sacrifices that all Christians make in their ministries and to pray for the Unity of Christians so we can move forward
as one.
There is another line in the Gospel that struck me as well. It’s the last part of the reading. “At once his fame began
to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.” For me, if I was trying to get to Jerusalem to fulfill my
mission to sacrifice myself for the forgiveness of the sins of all the people in the world, I would more than likely
keep a low profile. I likely wouldn’t draw attention to myself. So why would Jesus heal the sick, forgive people of
sins, rebuke unclean spirits, and preach to thousands? For me, it is truly an act of generosity and love for him to
take the risk of being arrested and killed by the roman authorities. Jesus put aside all the potential consequences for
his actions, and through pure love, he tended to His flock. This is a call to action for us as well, as sometimes we
meet with resistance to the good news, and sometimes we are in hostile territory, but we may indeed be called to
speak the Gospel of Christ with love and compassion.
Let us pray for the grace this week to share the love of Christ with those we meet.
God bless you all, Deacon Danny

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