Scripture: Lectionary 302. Jan 12, 2012, Thursday in Ordinary Time
I Samuel 4:1-11. Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 25-26. Mark 1:40-45
Over a century ago, Wilhelm Wrede, a German biblical scholar, discovered through his research a theme in St. Mark’s Gospel know as the “Messianic Secret”. In the most recent issue of the Bible Today which is dedicated to the Year of St.Mark in the liturgy of the word this secret is mentioned. Christopher McMahon describes it:”Mark’s Jesus repeatedly admonishes the disciples to “tell no one” about what they have seen, and he even admonishes them to keep quiet about his identity (e.g., 1:25,34; 3:11-12). (Bible Today, Nov.Dec., p.345, 2011).
The so called secret occurs in our passage for today in verse 44. The man cleansed is to report he is free of his “leprosy” to the priests, but he is not to tell them about the way in which this happened, thus it is a secret between him and the Lord. Jesus is said to go to deserted places after preaching and healing. He is not seeking any self glorification and certainly no notoriety.
The “Messianic Secret” is no longer a secret! We are to proclaim and witness to Jesus for we have been called his disciples through our baptism and we are to share who he is as Mark does so repeatedly in calling him the “Son of God” as often as he is the “Son of Man.” He indicates both the humanity and divinity of Jesus this way in the two parts of his Gospel, chapters one through seven and eight through 16.
For us Jesus has brought about the kingdom of God and we as his followers are to help others to realize this through our behavior, our values, and our conviction that he truly is the Beloved of the Father, the Son of God. We therefore are not to be timid or silent when it comes to speaking about who Jesus is in the Gospels and who he is for us as a Catholic community and a disciple of the Lord. Though secrets are sacred we are now prepared to announce the sacredness of it for the mystery has been solved in the person of Jesus, son of Mary (Mark 6:3). Amen.