“The Voice Of Love And Joy”
Baptism of the Lord
RESURRECTED INTO A LIFE OF GRACE, JOY AND LOVE
Today’s Gospel reading introduces us to John the Baptist, seen by the Gospel writers not just Mark, but even Matthew and Luke as the one whom the prophet Isaiah had prophesied in the Old Testament. The narrative in the gospel of Mark opens with John the Baptist preaching a message of repentance in the desert declaring that the kingdom of heaven is near. Many people from Judea and Jerusalem have heard John’s preaching and they were moved to confess their sins and let themselves be baptized. We may ask, why did the people venture out into the desert to hear John’s message? We can cite two probable reasons. One, maybe the people realized that John was preparing the way for the Messiah and they wanted to know more about it and be in on it. Many of them never forgot what had been promised by God to their ancestors, that the Messiah would come as prophesied in Isaiah chapter forty that tells of the preparation of the road for the coming of the Lord, and in Isaiah chapter thirty-five that speaks of the Highway of Holiness. Considering too that God’s people in John’s time were under the tyrant rule of the Roman government officials, they needed to claim that promise for them not to be distressed and discouraged with their situation. And two, some people maybe were just so curious about John’s message of repentance and baptism. Maybe for so long, they never heard or talked much about what John the Baptist is proclaiming.