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23.01.2020 — Ministry to the Crowds

Posted under Reflections on January 22nd, 2020 by

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. 

22.01.2020 — Contrast in words and deeds

Posted under Reflections on January 21st, 2020 by

Week 2 of Ordinary Time, Wednesday – 22nd January 2020 — Gospel: Mark 3,1-6

Contrast in words and deeds

Jesus expresses his willing to cure a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, because he knows that good news is all about bringing wholeness and salvation to one who is broken and sick. He made his intention clearly known through his question: “to do good and to save life”. This seems to be the evangelist Mark’s way of anticipating the intention of Jesus’ opponents. For at the end of the narration the enemies act in contrast to Jesus way;they plot to kill him. Though Mark does not specify at the beginning of this episode who was watching at Jesus to accuse him, at the end of the episode they are named as Pharisees and Herodians. The point is that the opponents object to someone being made whole on the Sabbath because they are concerned about the law, yet on the same Sabbath, they will not hesitate to plot the destruction of someone else. In this way, Mark brings out the contrast between their words and their deeds. Instead there is no dichotomy in what Jesus says and does; he does what he knows is necessary.

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