By Father Andrew Kelly
This Sunday the community will hear: “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1-8)
Thus begins Mark’s Gospel. The community begins to ponder again “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” who is the beginning and end of all believers’ lives. Mark insists that all believers must always return to the beginning, as believers so often fail to do as Christ’s disciples.
The original ending of Mark’s Gospel (Mark 16:1-8) is a story of failing disciples:
“‘But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”
This is the joyful glory of the Advent season. For the sake of conversion, the believing community begins again to re-hear and reflect on the story of Jesus. The community asks itself: “Why are we so afraid of our mission to preach and live the ‘good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God?’”
John the Baptizer was not afraid. So why is the community so afraid?
(Father Andrew Kelly is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville.)