John the Baptist Prepares the Way
beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’ ”
4 John appeared, baptizing
in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their
sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier
than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark begins by telling of (1) John’s call to repentance, (2) Baptism, and (3) eager expectation of the Messiah’s coming. John warns us not to adopt worldly values and expectations. Happily, all of us who are baptized
have received the promised Holy Spirit, who continually forgives us, restores us, and focuses us on the splendor of Jesus’ second coming.
I pray: Lord,
remind us of the washing we received in Baptism, for through it Your Holy Spirit was poured into our hearts. Keep us steadfast in the hope of Your glory. Amen.