This last Sunday before Lent ends the section of Mark’s Gospel in which Jesus’s healing ministry will soon take a turn. Instead of joining the crowd’s amazement in his curing of the sick, the scribes in the next chapter will accuse Jesus of blasphemy when he reveals that his healing is for the forgiveness of sins.
If those who had been following Jesus so far were doing so because they saw him as a miracle worker or earthly messiah sent to improve their quality of life, their fascination soon will be tested. Jesus has come preaching not a life free of ailments but the reign of God freed from sin. His healings so far have verified his authority. The ultimate confirmation of his power over the greatest sin—death—will be shown upon a cross.The liturgy is a window into Christ’s reign happening now and our rehearsal for living that reign each day of our lives. Click To Tweet
You might celebrate today the Rite of Sending for those catechumens who will celebrate the Rite of Election next week. Mark’s Gospel is a sober reminder to them that they are being elected not for an easier life but for eternal life. That life begins by walking with Jesus to the cross and being baptized into his death.
However, they will not walk alone. Their godparents and the entire communion of saints accompany them so that they, like the healed leper, might be living proof that Jesus is the Son of God.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- Avoiding “small-minded” discipleship
- A shift in focus
- At the Crossroads
- Messy but Life-Changing
- True Observance