Repent and believe the good news – Mark 1:12-15 – Meaning and Commentary

1. Introductory prayer

I calm down and I feel the presence of God in me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open the word of God, I accept it and allow it to fulfill my mission in me, in order to become more and more what I am in Holy Trinity. Then I ask God for this prayer, in my own words, or with those that are here…

Jesus overcame temptations and can lead us through these struggles if we allow Him. He does not save us from temptation, but sends us angels to serve us. Christ has already saved us so that we can choose well. Lord, help me to discover and name the beasts that are trying to draw me away from you, and at the same time warm my eye and heart to see the good and beautiful that is already happening. That I can trust you and your plan for me.

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2. Reading – Listening:  – Repent and believe the good news – Mark 1:12-15 – Meaning and Commentary

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[a] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Jesus Announces the Good News

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

3. Thoughts on the Gospel – Repent and believe the good news – Mark 1:12-15 – Meaning and Commentary

After baptism, the Holy Spirit fills Jesus and takes him into the wilderness, where he prepares for his mission for forty days (Mark 1:12). Mark writes that Satan tried him in the desert. In Matthew (4: 1-11) the temptations of bread, glory, and power are described in great detail. All these three were experienced by the people after their departure from Egypt (Exodus. 8: 3; 6: 13,16).

Temptation is everything that diverts man from the path to God. The letter to the Hebrews says that Jesus was tested in everything as we are, but he did not fall into sin (Heb 4:15). He remains faithful. He resists temptation and continues on his way as the Son of Man who came to serve (Mt 20:28).

When Herod put John the Baptist in prison, Jesus went to Galilee, where he preached the gospel. What happened to John did not surprise him. Quite the opposite. The experience of the Holy Spirit at baptism opened his eyes. John’s arrest was a sign to him that the kingdom of God was at hand.

This arrest was related to politics. Just as political action at the time influenced the proclamation of the gospel by Jesus, so political action today can move us to spread the gospel.

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The proclamation of the gospel includes the following: the completion of time, the coming of the kingdom of God, the change of life, and faith.

The kingdom of God is already here. The wait is over. For the Pharisees, his arrival depended on their efforts. The kingdom could come only when they played their part, that is, they complied with the whole of the Constitution, and according to its precepts cleansed the whole country. Jesus says the opposite: The kingdom is already here, among us (Lk 17:21). What they had hoped for was already present among them, but they did not know or see it. Jesus saw all this because he looked at reality with different eyes, in the way the Father gave him through the Holy Spirit. It is this hidden presence of the Kingdom of God that he proclaims among the poorest people. This “seed” of the kingdom, however, received the warmth of his love under the rain of his word, that it might germinate and begin to grow.

A change of life, which some also translate by conversion, repentance, or penance, means a change in the way of thinking. In order to comprehend the presence of the kingdom of God, it is necessary to begin to live and act differently. We are called to change our way of life and find a new form. The teachings of the Pharisees must be abandoned and the experience of God’s presence allowed to penetrate us, thus enabling a new view as well as a new reading and understanding of all that is going on.

Belief in the gospel. The message of the gospel (good news) was by no means easy to accept. It is not easy to change the way of thinking that has accompanied a person since childhood. This is only possible with faith. When someone comes to us with the unexpected news that is difficult to accept, we only accept it if it is brought by a person who, in our judgment, is trustworthy. And Jesus is worthy of our complete trust

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • With Christ, I venture into the desert to sharpen my hearing, sight, type, taste, smell, and balance within it. Where do I direct my gaze, to who do I direct my ear, what thoughts lead me?
  • What do I do to escape the unpleasant, the difficult?
  • Jesus thought differently and understood differently than the others. I listen to what he wants to tell me at the beginning.
  • The kingdom of God is already here, we are already saved. If I look with this faith in my heart at the time before us, how can I already live this salvation?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me. Perhaps from this silence, I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

7. Action

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When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving, and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action).

8. Prayer at the end

Thank you, good God, for giving me the opportunity to fast when you show me that both rain and sun are needed, both deep valleys and wide plains, both desert and rainbow. Thank you for showing me fasting as something much more than destroying weeds in my life – so I could destroy wheat as well. You are directing my post to stay awake and seek the good.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel about the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others, and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings, and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. With a prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si

Text from the Bible – New International Version (KJV)

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!