The Fifth Week of Lent: Sunday, March 29, 2020

Read John 8:46-59

The Gospel of Mark has been called a Passion narrative with a long introduction.  This week we come to the conclusion of that long introduction.  The Passion begins with our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem for the Passover in chapter 11.  But Mark leaves no doubt in the minds and spirit of the readers of his Gospel that the Good News is proclaimed most fully in the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord.  He gives us early hints of what our Lord will accomplish in the Passion by seeding three Passion predictions in the final three chapters of the introduction.  We had the first this past Thursday, and we will have the second and third on Monday and Friday respectively this week.

As we wind our way with Jesus toward Jerusalem this week, we are repeatedly reminded that our commitment to Jesus and to His unfailing Word of Truth must be firm.  For between the two Passion predictions, Mark has sandwiched reminders of those who have failed to make the greater covenantal commitment.  He references causing another to sin, breaking solemn vows, and selfishness.  But with God, Mark reminds us, there is always hope.  Mark failed in his early attempts, but Jesus redeemed him.  And in the Gospel reading appointed for today Jesus asks, “why do you not believe me?”  And then, He offers this encouragement:  “He who is of God hears the words of God…”  The readings from those mid-week days help us understand how to live a disciplined life in the Word.

Thy Word is Truth!  And Mark is the herald of that Good News.  May we always be hearers and doers of the Word of God.  And let us walk with Mark as he follows Jesus in His pilgrimage toward Jerusalem.

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