Reflecting on Mark 1:14-20
It’s that first sentence in today’s gospel, our first entry from Mark in Ordinary Time this year, that give me chills: After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God.
Similar sentences have read, “After the four North American churchwomen were murdered in El Salvador, the next plane brought their replacements from Maryknoll.”
Or, “After the first wave of volunteers were taken away in exhaustion, a second wave of volunteers from around the world took their place, digging for the missing who were swept up in the tsunami.”
Jesus knew that his hidden life had come to an end. The great prophet John the Baptist, after speaking truth to power, was thrown into Herod’s dungeon. What fate would await him? Jesus didn’t wait to find out. He immediately stepped into John’s role, and began to proclaim the gospel.
“The time has come,” Jesus said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
The martyrdom of John was a shocking event for all who had been baptized by him, for John’s disciples, and for Jesus. Now it was clear: Jesus would also die at the hands of powerful men, who would misunderstand him, and what he wanted to give them. Jesus now knows how very dangerous these men are, and his response is to preach the gospel anyway.
I know people like that, many of them. I know courageous women and men who have risked, and lost, jobs they loved, in order to simply do the right thing. It shouldn’t be like this. We should ALL desire that the right thing prevail, even—especially—those with something to lose should that come to pass.
What examples of right overcoming might have you seen in your lifetime?
Kathy McGovern ©2024