Jesus said, “The right time has come and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News.” (Mk 1:15)
Today’s Passages: Mk 1:14-20; Heb 1:1-6
Meditation: Today’s meditation verse once again invites us to reflect upon “the good news” and “the right time.” Recently as we meditated on this theme it was noted that all news are not “good news” for all people and we saw examples from the lives of the magi as well as from King Herod. However, once again we try to get into the message for “the favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness.” (Lam 3:22, 23)
Since Jesus says, “The right time has come and the kingdom of God is near!” it must be by all means true. Is that hearing of Jesus’ proclamation then enough for our salvation? Certainly no! That is why Jesus himself puts forward the condition; “Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!” Here needs of course a faithful response from our part. Unless and until we abandon our sins we cannot come to believe in Jesus. St. John says, “We know that no one begotten by God sins; but the one begotten by God he protects, and the evil one cannot touch him.” (1 Jn 5:18)
Why do we believe then in the Good News? For mere turning away from sins doesn’t guarantee our eternal life. This only temporarily makes one free from the bondage of Satan/sins. In order to have eternal life one has to believe in the Good News. John the evangelist shares with us the purpose his writing the gospel, “These are written that you may (come to) believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and through this belief you may have life in his name.” (Jn 20:31)
If this second step is not there, then, what we heard in the second reading is not relevant to you and me; “After achieving forgiveness for the sins of mankind, he sat down in heaven at the right-hand side of God, the supreme power.” (Heb 1:3) How did he achieve his goal of redemption? It is through his sacrificial death on the cross. If you believe in this “Good News,” then this is “the right time” to live for him and die for him.
St. Paul says, “He died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but only for him who died and was raised to life for their sake.” (2 Cor 5:15) If you are ready, from now on, to live in him, with him, and for him, then, this is the day the Lord has made for you and your salvation. Surely, Jesus will whisper in our ears today, “Salvation has come to this house today.” (Lk 19:9)
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Teach me, O Lord, that the right time is the time I find you in my life as my only savior and redeemer. Let us learn from the lives of the thief on the cross at your right-hand side and Zacchaeus the meaning of real repentance and conversion. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Greetings: God is with you! Have a blissful Monday!