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First Reading: Genesis 9:8-15
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22
Gospel: Mark 1:12-15

In today’s Gospel, Jesus goes into Galilee and begins to preach. The first words out of his mouth, as Mark reports them, serve as a sort of summary statement of his life and work: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Jesus’ very first words are a wake-up call, a warning bell in the night, a summons to attention. This is not the time to be asleep, not the time to be languishing in complacency and self-satisfaction, not the time for delaying tactics, for procrastination and second guessing. The initial words of Jesus’ first sermon are an invitation to psychological and spiritual awareness: there is something to be seen, so open your eyes!
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