December 7, 2008
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. (Mark 1:1-5)
A prophet in Scripture is one who speaks for God. A prophet can do that because the prophet has spent much time in prayer, listening to God in his or her own heart. God has inspired the prophet how to speak and what to say. Isaiah was a great prophet who lived about 700 years before Jesus was born. John was also a great prophet. John was Jesus’ cousin; their mothers, Elizabeth and Mary, were cousins. John’s message to the people was to get ready because someone greater than himself was going to bring News from God. That someone was and is Jesus, and much of the news Jesus brought to our world is recorded in the last half of the Bible called the New Testament. We especially find a lot of Jesus’ messages from God in the four Gospels.
Since we just started another “Church Year” with the beginning of the Season of Advent, take some time this week to read from your Bible the Gospel of Mark. Mark’s gospel is the shortest of the four gospels. You’ll be hearing this Gospel often when you participate in Catholic Mass or other types of Christian worship.