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Epiphany-Denaha 8thS,Feb.27,11

Denaha-Epiphany,8th S,Feb.27,11

(Mk 1:1-8)

The opening words of the landmark book , “ The Peace of Soul” by Archbishop Sheen, published in 1949, in response to the spiritual conflicts experienced by people in the our times are worth remembering: “Unless souls are saved, nothing is saved; there can be no world peace unless there is soul peace.” We often forget that it is the changes that take place in the hearts of people that cause great transformations in the world at large. In our rush for prosperity, conveniences and advancements in life, we often ignore the fact that unless our hearts are right with God’s will, we can never experience those material benefits that we crave for.

It is through repentance and reconciliation with God that receive real happiness in our life. It is this spirit of reconciliation that today’s Gospel offers to the people of Israel as well as to us .

The reading from Mark’s Gospel introduces the ministry of Jesus through the eyes of John the Baptist. The ministry of John the Baptist serves as a great introduction to the mission of Jesus.

John Baptist is followed by a great crowd of people, waiting for every word that falls from his lips. They are willing to repent of their sins and to become reconciled with God. But John the Baptist is very careful to delineate the limits of his ministry. He tells them that he is not the Messiah and that he is only a forerunner. The one who is to come after him is the real one. The baptism he gives does not make them the children of God nor does it give them the Spirit of God .It is only a baptism of repentance.

We are thus given a very clear insight into the ministry of Jesus. It is Jesus who should become the focus of our attention. Jesus is the source of our life. Whatever may be the challenges and hardships we face in life, we can confront them if we are united with Jesus. Union with Jesus through prayer and participation in the Eucharist gives a sense of confidence that no one else can give us in our life.

We should never be afraid of people nor be worried about our future. What Jesus told the Apostles is being repeated to each one us: “ Don’t be afraid….I am with you until the end of the world.”

Jesus is our hope, our salvation. We should feel happy and confident in our life because of our faith in Jesus. Even good people can cause us harm. In religious life too, we come across people who are supposed to be holy and spiritual doing us harm. We find them engrossed in gossip and calumny. Because of the mistreatment we receive from them or because of their mistaken understanding of our actions, we suffer in silence. We become confused and out of focus. Interactions with such people may make us lose our spiritual moorings. It is then we have to remind ourselves with the words of St. Paul: “As long as Christ is with us, who can be against us?”

May the words of John the Baptist announcing the ministry of Jesus give us confidence to preach His message of love and hope and offer the same to all those who work with us. May our proclamation of the message of Jesus also help us to face the challenges that confront us daily in our lives.

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