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3rd Sun B
Sunday 24th January 2021


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The Commentaries Summarised

As a Church we are in a web of wisdom that comes to us both from tradition and contemporary writers. This section offers a summary of some commentaries on the Gospel. Also below is a list of the books and articles that have been consulted in compiling this Sunday's "Pray As You Can" and which could be used for further reading.

This Sunday's Commentary

The simple straightforward style of the Gospel of Mark belies its richness and complexity. At the very end of the Gospel, the angels at the tomb order the woman to tell the disciples ‘to return to Galilee’. This is not meant to be a physical return but rather a remembering, a going over, of all that Jesus had taught and done, in the light of his Death and Resurrection. As we go through Mark’s Gospel this year, we too are asked to reflect with the disciples on the meaning of Jesus’ words and deeds in light of God’s outstanding liberation of humanity.

Today’s Gospel opens with one of Mark’s signature summary statements. There is a lot condensed in those few words. The verb used for John’s arrest after his controversial preaching – ‘passing over’ will be used of Jesus’ arrest and of the disciples’ future arrest after they too have preached the ‘good news’. The words ‘good news’ and ‘time’ (kairos) evoke the promise of liberation preached by Second Isaiah, which in Jesus’ time was being interpreted as a social and political liberation. But here, Jesus’ transformation of the idea of Good News from God has begun. The term ‘repent’ meant not the grovelling sorrow for sin that we often associate with this word, rather it is a change of mind and heart that sought to break with the power of Satan and subhuman forces and to live according to the ways of God. This time of transformation, of the reign of God, is pressing but before Jesus begins his preaching and teaching, he first starts to form the community that will bring his salvation into the world – he calls his first disciples.

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