January 20, 2012

3rd Sunday - B (February 22, 2012)

Mark 1: 14-20

The Kingdom of God is At Hand

In Mark, this passage is the very beginning of Jesus' public ministry. And right away, there is a sense of urgency in Jesus' words and actions. A careful reading of this passage and the following few chapters in Mark shows Jesus constantly on the move, preaching and healing.

The reason of this urgency is found in Jesus' very first words, "The kingdom of God is at hand."

Jesus' entire life and ministry are oriented according to that reality and his mission of preaching the kingdom of God.

So should our lives be!

The repentance in Jesus' preaching calls for more than avoiding evil and repentance of sins. It demands a change of life and heart, with the orientation for the kingdom of God. [1]

And it must happen now, because the kingdom of God is at hand.

The first disciples give us an example of such immediate response. When they are called, they responded immediately, or as translated"then," in this English version. And in orderN to follow Jesus, "they abandoned" their nets and hired men, symbols of possession, success and power. The also left their father, a symbol of their family connections and whatever familiar and comfortable.

The urgency of the kingdom of God directs the life and ministry of Jesus. Those who are called to follow him can only do so to a radical degree if they feel that same urgency.

[1]. Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel According to Mark.

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