Mark 1: 14 – 20
Be with us, Lord Jesus. Be our companion of our way. In your mercy inflame our hearts and raise our hope, so that, in union with one another, we may recognise you in the Scriptures and in the breaking of Bread.
- Read today’s text a number of times. Read it slowly, out loud and with expression. As you do this try to identify a title for it.
- Divide it into its parts.
- Try to identify the words that express a sense of time.
Here are my findings.
Bad news, Good News, More Good News
14After John had been arrested,
Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. 15“The time has come,” he said, “and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.”
16As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” 18And at once they left their nets and followed him. 19Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.
The reading opens with disastrous news. John is arrested by Herod Antipas one of Herod the Great’s sons. The tone changes with the announcement of Good News. But there is a sense of urgency. The time has come, this is the moment of grace, act now. Everything is done in a hurry; all the reactions are at once. We too must not hesitate. But what are we in such a hurry about?
“The kingdom of God is close at hand.” It is right here. There is no more waiting, we just have to accept it and it is ours. The kingdom of God is here and now.
“It is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out. Here, then, I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom. … Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.” Dt 30: 14; 15; 19b
* * * * * *
“The essence of the Good News is found in Jesus’ baptismal experience, and experience of intimacy which Jesus realised was not meant for him alone. He realised that God is the Father-Mother of each man and each woman. He realised that God wants to say to every man: “You are my son, the one I love. In you I delight.” God wants to say to every woman: “You are my daughter, the one I love. In you I delight”. (Fallon: Mark p58)
Good News is something to rejoice about and it makes us happy.
We are so excited about it that we need to tell others about it.
It lightens and eases the burdens of life.
Fear and guilt are banished.
We are brought to accepting each other.
We respect the dignity of others.
We respect that we are all different.
From being inward looking, selfish, we become open, generous and other centred.
We make this world a little better for our being here.
Jesus was Good News.
If we follow his life we find that he lives out the Good News. He practices what he preaches. He shows us that it is possible to live the Good News.
“There he proclaimed the Good News from God. 15“The time has come,” he said, “and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.”
There are three things we are called on to do in establishing the Kingdom of God.
Proclaim the Good News in our lives.
Repent. This means to turn around, and go in the opposite direction, change our way of thinking, change our values, change our mind, change our heart, change what we desire, change what we want from life, change our conduct.
Believe the Good News. This Good News is too good to be true. Not so!! Believe it. It will change your life.
RESPOND – PRAYER
There are five ways in which the Gospel becomes a reality in our lives. Here are two:
- In the human situation; in the relationship between me and others.
- The gospel becomes a reality within the person themselves.
As we take today’s reading into prayer ask yourself how this can transform the way I relate to others (me and others) and how I will change if I allow this Word of God into my heart. (within the person)
Is my life Good News?
Am I Good News in the lives of others?
“Yes”? Rejoice and give thanks.
“No” ? Repent.