Actually, it's both.

In one sense, Sunday’s Gospel (Mark) is the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.  But what about the Baptism of Jesus?  Or the 40 days in the desert that ends with the temptation of Jesus? 

Not that those events don’t matter, they do - both tell us a lot about who Jesus is.  But while they’re important, those events are the preparation for what we see starting this Sunday.

When we hear Sunday’s Gospel, we often think about who was called by Jesus or all that they would be called to do.  But before any of that, there’s something else. 

Before Jesus calls them to do anything, Jesus calls them into a relationship.  That call to a relationship is the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, because that relationship with Jesus is at the heart of everything that follows. 

 

More on this tomorrow.