The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophets, “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I have baptized you with water: but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Here are some questions about the Gospel reading:

St. Mark begins his Gospel with “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” and immediately talks about the writings of the prophets.  Do you think it is important that he begins with prophecy? Why or why not?

Does the prophecy come true? How do you know?

If you were going to send someone before Jesus, to prepare people to meet Him, would you have picked someone like St. John the Forerunner? Why or why not? Why do you think God chose him to fulfill the prophecy?

God chooses unlikely characters to do His work. Can you think of any other unusual people that God used, from Bible times, or more recent saints, to fulfill his prophecies and His will?

Pray, and ask God to help you to be willing to do what He wants, so that you can fulfill what He has created you to do!