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December 6, 1996     The Message
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1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 " Commentary __ Ap!oneer gospel: Mission of John the Baptist da : nd Sun. iah what was written by Malachy, it is his mistake, ] [ f" :' % / i Son of God." Thus Mark at least I lY.; fAdvent: Year B: Mark : - [ [ I ! II tells his readers who and what not the mistake of the revealing divine Spirit. One [ [ :, [  Jesus is. After this throughout the might ask why God would allow such mistakes in . Last Sunday's gos el r [ [ t [ I entire gospel only demons are pre- the Scriptures? One might just as well ask why God 10okted., ..... , P eading [ [ J..l ] [ ]] sented as knowing that Jesus is Son took on the weakness and mortality of human 't the en me tumre return of Jesus [ [ :'. | ]] ofGod. No human being in this nature? Just as God enclosed the Word made flesh nd four time and the vigi_ [ ' [ II gospel will profess Jesus as Son of in the weakness of human nature, so God also ce required in the meantime. ]  J ]] God until Jesus' death on the cross, enclosed his written word in the weakness of human he gospels of the second and Undavs or third |  [ II Only at that point will a Roman sol- authors and human language. All of Scripture is ..... qvent are taken up [ By FATHER ]] dier, representing all the Gentile inspired but not all of Scripture is revelation. lth themes frepentarlce an | DON DILGER l] nations of the earth, declare that John the Baptist s message in Mark is brief and ce for those .... d vig- uwaning the com- [ COLUMNIST II basic profession of faith, "Indeed to the point. Repentance of sin, baptism or washing These themes are pre-  this man was Son of God." with water as an outward sign of that repentance. s about the person After his opening theme of Mark describes John's appearance exactly as that of the Baptist. nt presents his message Mark. The third Sunday of Advent pre- according to the Gospel of John. Mark is our earliest surviving gospel dating from about 70 A.D. There are and birth of Jesus stories. Mark with the mission of John the t he reflects the standard preach- century which seems to have general- to repentance through a presen- of John the Baptist. We find pt because in this gospel we ons by Gabriel, dream- to Joseph, no birth sto- no magi, etc. All these elements in the first two chapters of Luke and something about the origin of Opening statement: "The beginning of Jesus' divine sonship Mark immedi- ately turns to John the Baptist. He describes him with two Old Testament quotes as the messenger who prepares the way of the Lord and the voice in the wilderness who proclaims the necessity of get- ting ready for the Lord. Mark attributes both these quotes to Isaiah. The second quote, "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, etc.," is indeed from Isaiah, but the first quote he attributes to Isaiah is from Malachy. This inspired misquote teaches us some impor- tant lessons, that divine inspiration does not mean total accuracy in the human knowledge of the author. Human weakness and ignorance is often left intact in the writing of Scripture. There are numer- ous examples of geographical, historical, and liter- ary errors in both Old and New Testaments. The doctrine of inerrancy pertains first and foremost to those matters which pertain to our salvation. It is these matters that we call "revelation." In revelation Elijah of the Old Testament in II Kings 1:8. He warns of"a Mighty One" coming after him who will baptize with the Holy Spirit." Mark emphasizes John's humility by attributing to him a statement describing himself as being not even worthy to be the slave of the Mighty One for whom he was preparing the people. We await the same Mighty One awaited by the people of John's time. This gospel calls us to repen- tance, a change of mind, a change of life-style in imi- tation of the humility of John the Baptist, unworthy to be servants of Jesus but nevertheless called to that dignity just as John was. Our repentance becomes our second baptism as it recalls our origi- nal baptism with water and the Holy Spirit. Like the prophet John the Baptist, every Christian is called to be a prophetic voice pointing out Jesus by our words and our deeds. Readings: Isaiah 40:1.5,9.11; H Peter 3:8.14. Have You had difficulty qualifying for standard life insurance? 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