I am sorry about posting this late. I am in an a capella choir that has been performing for several hours some days last week and this weekend. This season is a busy one for the singers but it is fun and people in the audiences enjoy the music…..Reyanna
•Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11; 2 Peter 3: 18-14; Mark 1: 1-8•
Weekly Scripture Readings: 2nd Sunday in Advent
Once again our annual journey into the Mystery of Christ has begun and again on this Second Sunday I call Robert Frost to company our journey. “The Road Not Taken.”
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
We are in the year of Mark’s gospel. Today we heard the simple but complex words — “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ.” Some scholars are convinced Mark means his narrative is only the “beginning” of what has to be continued and completed in our lives.
Mark is the first written gospel and includes no “infancy narrative.” Rather he begins by introducing John the Baptist whose role is “to prepare the way [a road] for the Lord.” John is in the desert where according to Mark, it sounds like everyone living in Judea and everyone living in Jerusalem came to him. Mark’s hyperbole is a subtle way of claiming the importance of “the one who “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” “Prepare for a new way of life!” – think “road.”
In John’s gospel, written perhaps thirty years later, Jesus declares himself to be “the Way,” that is the path of life that leads to that Gracious Mystery we name God. In the early Christian communities those trying to imitate him were called “the Way.”
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Yes Advent shouts out — prepare for Christmas birth! But Christmas birth has already happened. It is a past event.
Advent directs us to resume our journey forward on “the road less traveled,” our journey of becoming Christ. This “road less traveled” is love. Love is the energy, the force animating humanity’s transformation to a new consciousness and a fuller, more human life.
Listen closely to Mark this year. “The Jesus Project” will become clear. The only way our world and humanity will become all it is capable of being, is by changing how we relate to one another. That means unleashing the energy of love. That is “the road less traveled.”
In October the bishop of Rome called representative bishops from around the world to Rome for a Synod on the Family. Much has been written about that meeting. Pastoral issues concerning the divorced/remarried, cohabitating couples, gays and contraception topped the agenda. However Francis had a hidden agenda – the energy of love. Two authoritarian and rigid popes controlled and shaped our experience of being church for 35 years. The energy of love was stifled by insistence on obedience to papal authority and conformity to church law, perceived as divine law. Francis called this Synod confident his brother bishops will affirm that the gospel of Jesus is primarily about unleashing the energy of love.
Modern science tells us the cosmos continues to expand and become more complex. The 300 billion galaxies with their millions and millions of stars continue to move away from one another.
Such movement and so much human behavior seem to illustrate that everything is disconnected and disintegrating. However we who live in the Catholic household of faith the Risen Christ dwells at the very heart of the cosmos. We believe the cosmos is becoming more centered. We believe Christ is the One to whom the entire cosmos is attracted. The cosmos is becoming Christ’s body. Christ is before us, leading and inviting us. Christ alone can, and Christ alone is drawing all things together. Ultimately all things will be one in Christ.
“The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ.” If scholars are correct that Mark means his gospel narrative is only the “beginning.” Then it is for us to continue and complete IT in our lives, Advent is a very significant time for us. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” That road is the highway of love – the gospel