Is 40:1-5, 9-11; Ps 85; 2Pt 3. 8-14; Mk 1. 1-8
Our response shares the prophetic conviction that history does not repeat itself. Rather, God’s creating and saving actions unfold in history according to a steady pattern. Of that Isaiah was convinced, and Jesus advanced Isaiah’s conviction: The kingdom of God is at hand. God’s action-pattern is a grand reversal. Mary’s canticle on her visit to Elizabeth summarized the divine pattern: God has dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”2
God’s recreating at each moment does not remove all our limits now. God’s recreating does assure an unlimited future is promised each of us according to God’s promise to our ancestors. God’s promise enfleshed: Jesus, the union of the divine with the human, embodied that promise in his life, suffering, death and resurrection—not resuscitation, but resurrection to an absolutely new, unlimited life. That points us to another feature of our prophetic conviction.
Be pleased, O Lord, with our humble prayers and offerings, and since we have no merits to plead our cause, come, we pray, to our rescue with the protection of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord.
- Give Jesus 15 minutes each day this week.
- Rest in the creative love of the Trinity.
- Ask John the Baptizer, who began the gospel for the church, to present you to Jesus.
- Praise Jesus for announcing the reign of God.
- Ask Jesus for the grace to welcome his good news and to notice how his word is alive for you and lives in you.
- Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gave it to us so that his words could pray for us when our words fail: when life is too much; and when God unlocks joy no words can describe.
- Mark 1.15.
- Luke 1.51-55.
- See Luke 1.47.
- Reginald Fuller, Preaching the New Lectionary, Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1976, p.290.
- For the curious, two Latin words operate in the phrase, ubi nulla súppetunt suffrágia meritórum [since we have no merits to plead our cause]: meritorum (a merit, service, kindness, benefit, favor) and suffragium (a voting-tablet, ballot, vote, voice, suffrage).