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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Monday 1st in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mk 1,14-20): After John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, «The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News» (…).

What does “Gospel” actually mean?

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, the Evangelist Mark describes the beginning of Jesus’ public activity, by specifying the essential contents of His preaching. Both Mark and Matthew define Jesus Christ’s preaching as "Gospel". But what does Gospel actually mean? The term has recently been translated as "Good news", but it falls far short of the order of magnitude of what is actually meant by the word "Gospel".

In older days, the proclamations made by Roman emperors were called "Gospels". What comes from the Emperor —that was the background idea— is a saving message that is not just a piece of news, but a change of the world for the better. When the Evangelists adopt this word what they mean to tell us is this. When the emperors, who pretend to be gods, illegitimaly claim, really occurs here: a message endowed with primary authority, which is not just talk, but reality.

—Because You, O Jesus, are the Son of God who came into the world, your "Gospel" is not just informative speech, but performative speech: efficacious power that enters into the world to save and transform.