Monday, March 14, 2011

by Zillah Whittaker

Today’s gospel reading is very familiar; John preparing the way for Jesus and then baptizing him in the River Jordan.  While a reading we more often associate with Advent, a time of preparation for Jesus’ birth, Lent is actually a perfect time to reflect on what Mark is telling us here.  What does it truly mean to “prepare the way” for Jesus to come? It means we, as ever-evolving Christians, must always remember to prepare our hearts and minds for God.

During Lent, as we deprive our bodies to stimulate deeper faithful reflection, we can allow ourselves to engage with a stronger awareness of preparation for God.  By reflecting each day on our own short-comings (no easy feat for most of us!) we permit ourselves to use humility and courage to confess our wrongdoing and offer ourselves up to God as faithful, loving servants. This gospel challenges us to observe the new kingdom that Jesus will bring; that he is the fulfillment of centuries-old prophesies, and yet is a humble and gentle Messiah, who suffered temptation, ridicule and eventually death, so that we all might be freed from the slavery of sin.

Lord, let your light burn brightly in my heart so that I may know the joy and freedom of your kingdom. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and empower me to witness the truth of your gospel and to point others towards Jesus Christ. Amen.

Genesis 37:1-11
Psalms 41, 44, 52
1 Cor. 1:1-19
Mark 1:1-13