Reflection on Scripture Second Sunday of Advent Gospel B Prepare the way of the Lord

By 11:58 AM

 Second Sunday of Advent: Gospel B

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.  

· From the beginning Mark summarizes his whole gospel with these titles: Jesus is the  “Christ” (Messiah) and the Son of God.  The fact of this faith revelation is what he will attempt to show.

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.'"

· To emphasize the first title, Messiah, Mark begins with the prophetic message of Isaiah about the one who would come before the Messiah.

 John (the) Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 

· Notice that unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark does not begin with the early life of Jesus, but with the public ministry of John the Baptist which leads to Jesus’ public ministry.

· John is seen as the bridge between the Old and New Testaments.

· He invites the people to prepare for the coming of the Messiah by repentance for their sins, showing a change of heart and a readiness to receive the Messiah. Through this act they will be renewing the Covenant.

· As you prepare to celebrate the memorial of Jesus’ birth, how are you preparing to receive him in a new way?

· What are you doing to renew your covenant relationship with God?

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. 

· At first, people looked to John as the “Messiah.” This John rejects.

· When was the last time we received the Sacrament of Reconciliation to acknowledge our sins?

John was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. 

· John’s dress and diet links him to another prophet, Elijah. Jesus will remind people of this connection later on in his own ministry.

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." 

· John’s baptism was a penitential rite that reflected the person’s decision to repent of sin and expect the Messiah.

· Jesus’ baptism brings about a radical transformation by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Sin is forgiven and the person is a new creation as a child of God.

· What does it mean to you personally that Jesus, the Son of God, came into this world? How has your life been changed within the past year because of Jesus?

· What areas of repentance of sins are needed in your life now?

· What does it mean to be baptized in the Holy Spirit? When were you? How conscious of the lead of the Holy Spirit are  you?

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