by Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
Gospel Reading: St. Mark 1: 12-20
In today’s reading we listen to the narration of St. Mark who starts his gospel by telling about St. John the Baptist, the forerunner of our Lord. In the first verse of today’s reading we listen, “And immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness.” Immediately after the blessed baptism of our Lord, He was driven to the wilderness by the Spirit. There is no need to explain what had happened there in the wilderness. But the question comes up in our minds, why our Lord was taken to the wilderness and what was the need for the evil spirit to submit Him for the temptations. It is to be feared that most of us often forget the fact that all the incidents in the life of our Lord was meant for us and they happened so with the will of God, so that we might learn more clearly. Lord Jesus accepted the baptism of forgiveness of sins from St. John the Baptist. Was our Lord a sinner to accept the baptism of forgiveness? Our Lord was not a sinner at all. Still He accepted the baptism to make us learn. More over, our Lord bore the sins of the world and our Lord wanted to wash them away from Him. What sort of baptism is followed by the Holy Church? The Holy Church follows the baptism taught by our Savior thought it is child baptism.
Baptism of Lord Jesus is the only occasion when and where we find the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit together in the Holy Bible as well as in our worship. During the Holy Eucharist, we remember and honor the baptism of our Lord, when the censor is being blessed in the name of the father, son and the Holy Spirit. We could find that the Holy Church is following the baptism of our Lord through which a faithful transforms his or her body as that of our Lord’s resurrected body, by associating with our Lord’s death, burial and resurrection, as mentioned in Romans 6:4. We all have been blessed to inherit the resurrected glorious and eternal body of Lord Jesus. By leading the systematic sacramental life, a faithful could maintain the freshness and nobility of the resurrected body by accepting the Holy Eucharist. If we are doing all these things meaningfully, how blessed would be our lives? So we are obliged to evaluate our own lives every now and often and must correct it if we are on the wrong paths.
Let us come back to today’s reading. St. Mark says that there were wild beasts. Evil powers are often compared to wild beasts by the Holy Fathers. Though the beasts were there, our Lord was always ministered by the Angels. Our hearts are occupied by the wild beasts and they do not allow the Holy Spirit in us to grow as we are not bothered of the presence of the wild beasts in us. We must try to evacuate them with the help of God’s grace and with the support of the Angels and heavenly forces including the saints. When our Lord came out of the temptations victorious, He started His blessed Public Mission with the important advice “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel” The message of our Lord is so simple. He wants the listeners to repent and believe the Gospel. The modern society cannot accept the dogma of repentance as it is the freedom from selfishness. Unless and until we seek freedom from this evil nature of being selfish, there is no point in claiming that we are Christians. In all fields of modern life, we could find the excess influence of the selfishness. Let us try to avoid selfishness from our thoughts words and deeds. Let us have Christ like approach in our life style. Why are we forgetting that we have been gifted with the resurrected body our Redeemer? If one is a real true Christian, there should not have a drop of selfishness in his or her life. Can we point out someone from our society as free from selfish motives, interests and desires?
We should not forget the truth that selfishness is the root of all sins or the mother of all evil deeds, and words. Let us try to clear ourselves. The only way to clear ourselves is to submit ourselves cent percent to the disposal of God. Only God could clean us and our hearts. Let Him clean us and let Him stay in us. Let us long to live in God and let God live in us. In rest of today’s reading we find how our Lord won in getting St. Peter, St. Andrew, St. James and St. John as His first Apostles. He called them and they listened or obeyed. They left every thing that they possessed till then. Our Lord is calling each and every one of us since long. Are we giving heed to Him? Are we bothered about His call? Let us realize that we are being called by our Lord and let us try to respond positively.
May God bless us all.
See Also:Devotional Thoughts for the 5th Sunday After Danaha
thoughts for 5th Sunday after Denaha
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
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