Gospel Reflections

2nd Sunday of Advent

Mark 1:1-8

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Maura McMenamin

Published: December 07, 2014


The beginning of the Good News
about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
It is written in the Book of Isaiah,
"Look I am going to send
my messenger before you;
He will prepare your way.
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the lord,
Make His paths straight." (Mark 1:1-3)

.... In the course of his teaching he said: Someone is following me, someone more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptized you with water but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. 

John the Baptist appears in the wilderness and proclaims a Baptism of repentance. He may be dressed oddly and have a weird diet but his message is undoubtedly authentic. He is not hanging around waiting for a bolt out of the blue, but is actively proclaiming his message, indeed urging those who hear him to repentant - to be at one with their God in joyful reunion. He does this in total humility. “Someone is following me, someone more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals.”

During this year, dedicated to Consecrated Life, we approach the Second Sunday of Advent, 2014, with perhaps a different perspective, especially as Pope Francis exhorts all Christians “to announce the Gospel with joy.” He also reminds us that “The joy of the Gospel fills the heart and lives of all who encounter Jesus.” John challenges us to prepare the way for this encounter, this advent of the Word.

In our day, we “prepare the way” by entering into a joyful reunion with our God and other human beings. Mindful of this reality in our day-to-day contact with others, we try to live our Reconciliation, with our fellow Christians, and within the Church community. As we celebrate Advent, in the Sacrament of Loving Forgiveness, are we prepared to move forward in peace and joy?

Finally, heedful of Pope Francis’ exhortation to announce the Gospel with joy, let us ask ourselves, in what way are we to follow John’s example?

• Will we, share the Word with others in joy?
• How can we go out and joyfully broadcast the message of the Incarnation?
• In what way can we share this Good News in humility?

PRAYER

“Mother of the Living Gospel,
Wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones.
Pray for us.”  -- Pope Francis

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