Friends, great writers, from Aristotle to Shakespeare to Melville, put a lot into their opening line, which often sets the tone for the whole work. This week we have the privilege of hearing the very opening of the Gospel of Mark, which, by scholarly consensus, is the first of the Gospels written: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” In the manner of those great writers, this line matters a lot; in fact, every bit of it matters. And what sounds to us like familiar spiritual language was, in the first century, an edgy proclamation of the true Emperor to the powers that be.

Mass Readings