In Mark’s gospel, Jesus begins his proclamation to the world, his message of salvation, with these words: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the gospel.’
The coming of Jesus marks the beginning of a new era, the era of grace and salvation. His first words are an invitation to embrace this great novelty, the actual reality of the kingdom of God which he brings within reach of all people, close to every person.
He immediately shows the way, which is to repent and believe in the gospel. This means changing one’s life radically and accepting the word that God, in and through Jesus, speaks to humanity of all times.
Repentance and faith must go hand in hand. There cannot be one without the other. Rather, both spring from contact with the living word, from the presence of Jesus who, today too, says to the crowds:
Repent, and believe in the Gospel