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2nd Sunday in Advent, Year B

John the Baptist and the Mystery of Advent 

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The Second Sunday in the Season of Advent for Year B shifts our focus from the final advent, or second coming of Christ at the end of time, to the first advent of Jesus by bringing us back to the very beginning of the Gospel of Mark.  This again might seem a little more natural that if we are starting Year B, and we are starting with Mark, we would go back to the beginning.  So we are going to read here from Mark 1:1-8, and this is the beginning of the second gospel.  Now before I begin this reading, note something here that's different about Mark from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.  Matthew and Luke both begin their Gospels with two chapters of discussion about the infancy of Christ, about his nativity, his birth.  Mark doesn't do that though, Mark goes straight into the public ministry of Jesus and its preparation in the figure of John the Baptist — who is a very prominent figure during the Advent season because John is the precursor or the forerunner to Christ.  So let’s read the Gospel through and I will try to highlight a few elements in the passage and help you understand what the passage would have meant in its original context, and also why it is important for the Advent season.  So Mark 1:1-8 says...


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