Homily Thoughts for December 7, 2014…Good News

The gospel writers (“evangelists”) did not just sit down & write the story of Jesus’ birth, life, death & resurrection. They made a conscious, deliberate effort to decide what they would write, even in the specific words they chose to use. 

For example, St. Mark starts his gospel with the words, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” That may seem like a simple introduction that we easily pass over, but the whole gospel is in that line! The word Mark uses is “euangelion”, the good news (which is where we get the word “evangelist” or teller of the good news). In the secular world of the first century, when a general or emperor won a battle, he would send an “evangelist” ahead of him to announce his victory. This is what Mark is doing here: announcing the victory of Jesus Christ. “The beginning of the gospel…” harkens us back to the book of Genesis where “in the beginning” God created the world. Now he is recreating the world in Christ.

Today, we need to hear that opening line from Mark’s gospel as if for the first time. We need good news today. We experience too much bad news about our world, our families, our personal lives. We need to hear Mark proclaim to us today the good news that Jesus Christ is beginning something new: he has been victorious over all that is wrong with our world & our life.