Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gospel Text for Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mark 1:1-8 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

"See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
`Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,'"

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

1 comment:

  1. Good news comes out of the wilderness. That’s what strikes me about this text. Perhaps it is because I just returned from a three day retreat in the mountains where quiet quivered like an endless chime and a surprise snowfall transformed the landscape. For me in the mountain wilderness where there is no noise nor ambient light God’s Presence looms large and the beginning of the good news settles inside me, until it quakes. It is as if that hairy old prophet shakes my shoulders shouting, “Woman, what’s holding you back? Turn all the way around. Look at me. Follow Him. What are you afraid of?”

    If I could answer I would say, “I don’t know. Fear, like the grissley havolinas that invaded our camp, snorts and grovels in my belly, no explanation.” So I take pictures of those skunk pigs, that are actually not pigs at all, and then turn them around and around in my mind until I finally get bored out of my mind and shout – enough, get out. And finally I realize, I must be as John the Baptizer and allow myself to be possessed by the wilderness of God. I must fearlessly allow myself to be driven to proclaim the beginning of the God news. I must be a 21st century prophet in quest of a just society that values each and every human person. I must be willing to lose my head and say the things people don’t want to hear. And that’s where the havolinas came from, gnawing at my belly and disturbing my peace. They are the wilderness of God saying, “Woman, forget about your peace and comfort, even your fate. Go preach the good news and prepare the way, and never mind the wilderness.”