Gospel Reflection Dec 6 – Msgr. Hendricks
Sunday, December 6
Second Sunday of Advent
Mark 1: 1-8
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The opening of the Gospel of Mark makes it clear from the very beginning who Jesus is. Mark heralds him as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Therefore there can be no doubt about him. He is the anointed one, the messiah, the one who brings the people back to the proper worship of God. Why? Because he is the Son of God.
The person who announces this to the world is John the Baptist who comes to do his bidding, but is not the Chosen One. That title and person belongs to another.
While John the Baptist is central to the story today, he quickly drifts away and when we hear about this again, we realize that he has been dispatched by the executioner while being held in prison.
Advent is about many things but the gospel today helps to learn that like the people who were baptized by John for the forgiveness of their sins, so Jesus Christ will be the one who also dies for our sins, although sinless Himself. He does so because he has taken on our human nature to redeem us (or bring us back to God).
This Advent is unlike any other, not only because of the COVID-19, but because it gives us the opportunity to renew once more our faith and devotion to the Church, and to understand that God is with us still.