Week 2 of Ordinary Time, Thursday – 23rd January 2020 — Gospel: Mark 3,7-12
Ministry to the Crowds
While Jewish authorities oppose Jesus and his ministry, the crowds consisting of the poor from all walks of life from all over Palestine accept Jesus and gather around him. Mark significantly mentions the seven geographical areas from which they come, symbolizing the universal aspect of Jesus’ mission. The mention of crowds and the names of the places are an indication that Jesus’ authority is much greater than that of John the Baptist. The gathering of the multitudes recalls to mind and brings to completion the prophecies of Zephaniah (3,9-10) and Zechariah (8,20-23). It is a sign of the Messianic Age, when God’s universal saving message would begin to go outward towards all. In fulfillment of these prophecies, Jesus is at home with them, and heals them of their maladies. These crowds also serve as a backdrop for an important action of Jesus, namely his calling of the twelve apostles, whose future ministry will also be to the multitudes of the world.