25th April 2022
1Peter 5:5b-14; Ps 89:2-3.6-7.16-17; Mk 16:15-20
FEAST OF SAINT MARK, EVANGELIST
WITNESS OF JESUS’S RESURRECTION
Most of what we know about Mark comes directly from the New Testament. He is usually identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12. (When Peter escaped from prison, he went to the home of Mark’s mother). Paul and Barnabas took him along on the first missionary journey, but for some reason
Mark returned alone to Jerusalem. It is evident from Paul’s refusal to let Mark accompany him on the second journey, despite Barnabas’s insistence, that Mark had displeased Paul. Later, Paul asks Mark to visit him in prison, so we may assume the trouble did not last long.
The oldest and the shortest of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus’ rejection by humanity though he is God’s triumphant envoy. Probably written for Gentile converts in Rome—after the deaths of Peter and Paul sometime between A.D. 60 and 70—Mark’s Gospel is the gradual manifestation of a “scandal”: a crucified Messiah. Evidently a friend of Mark (Peter called him “my son”), Peter is only one of the Gospel sources, others being the Church in Jerusalem (Jewish roots) and the Church at Antioch (largely Gentile).
We need to be proclaimers and evangelizers: In today’s
Gospel Jesus gives his mission to all believers: “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” This mission is not given to a select few but to all believers. To be a Christian is to be a proclaimer and an evangelizer. There is a difference between preaching and proclaiming. “We preach with words, but we proclaim with our lives.” No one is excluded, and all are welcome. We are also reminded that while the Lord gives the mission to all, Jesus does not expect us to rely only on our own resources to fulfill that mission.