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Archive for September 7th, 2022


Mark 1:14-34: The Beginning

Abbot Handerson Thayer: Mary, Jesus and John the Baptist

Abbot Handerson Thayer: Mary, Jesus and John the Baptist

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

We have spent a number of days reflecting on the Gospel of Mark and today we remember the struggle of darkness and light that Jesus endures as he brings freedom, light and the good news to the faithful. Today we see how Jesus began.

We are accustomed to associating the words in the beginning with the opening words of Genesis of the soaring Gospel of John; today we see it and hear it in connection with the shortest and possibly the most powerful of the Gospels. Mark recounts that Jesus began his ministry when John the Baptizer was executed, when he saw that God’s plan was ready for the Good News, when he knew that fulfillment of God’s promise was at hand . . . through him.

In Luke’s Gospel we are told of how the people attending a service where Jesus proclaims God’s promise fulfilled in himself rose up, drove him out of town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.  But he passed away through the midst of them and went away.  Luke 4:29-30

Many of us may have decided that the world is too crazy and too volatile to try to bring the message of hope to cranky and churlish people; yet these Gospels both record that after Jesus escaped this ugly mob, he went out among the people and immediately cured a “demoniac” in Capernaum.  He then healed Simon’s mother and finally . . . at sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him.  (Luke 4:40When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.  The whole town was gathered at his door.  He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove our many demons, not permitting them to speak because he knew them.  (Mark 1:32-34)

We today are grateful that Jesus does not give up in the beginning when he was rejected by the rabble.

And so we pray . . .

We today are grateful that God never turns away from us when we have gone astray. 

We today are grateful that the Spirit always resides in us to bring comfort as we confront our hectic days.

We today are grateful that Jesus is constantly beside us to rescue us from the coming whirlwind. 

We today are grateful that from the beginning there is a plan, and that this plan is good and solid . . . even though we cannot fully comprehend its height, and breadth and depth. 

We today are grateful that from the beginning there is a plan, and that this plan is authentic and beautiful . . . even though we cannot fully comprehend its present, past or future.

We today are grateful that from the beginning there is a plan, and that this plan is, and was and always will be . . . one which turns all harm to good, all darkness to light, all anger to peace, all deception to fidelity, all fear to trust, and all hatred to love . . . if we only allow it. 

Amen.


A favorite from September 11, 2010.

Image from: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/john-the-baptist/

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