In the Sunday Masses from the First Sunday of Advent to the Last Sunday after Pentecost of the following year the Church reviews the history of the world: beginning with creation, coming to the birth of Jesus, following him through Lent to his death and resurrection; then going on with the history of the Church until we come to the end of the world at the last Sunday before Advent.
Today, in that long sequence, we look at the beginning of the public life of Jesus. Let’s look at his first steps.
First, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” His audience had been counting on a Messiah who would restore the power and glory of David’s kingdom. Instead, Jesus calls for “the kingdom of God.” That kingdom has an open membership for everyone who recognizes God as the final authority over his or her heart.
Our English Bible mistranslates the second thing that Mark quoted Jesus as saying. Actually, Jesus didn’t tell us to repent, dwelling sadly on our past failings. What he told us to do was more positive. He said, “Turn your thinking around.” In other words, we should redirect ourselves toward selflessness, and away from selfish pursuits.Next Jesus called four young men to become fishers of men. That’s what churchmen should be: fellows who know how to bait their hooks to draw people into the boat.
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