April 25, 2018

Mark

April 25, 2018:  St. Mark, Evangelist

See over a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Listen
For Psalm 89
Pope Francis
General audience:  Those who request Baptism have responded to the Gospel which has prompted them to believe, have learned how to listen to Jesus, and experience the Samaritan woman's thirst.  Their eyes are opened like the blind man; they rise like Lazarus.  The Litany of the Saints expresses that the whole Church accompanies them.  The exorcism and anointing with the oil of catechumens assure those preparing for Baptism that the Church's prayer assists them in the fight against evil.
Jesus fought and cast out demons to show God's kingdom had come.  His victory is a sign of his lordship.  Through the gift of Baptism, Jesus gives us the ability to fight evil.  The candidates receive a second anointing; fighters used to cover themselves with oil to tone their muscles and more easily escape the enemy’s grasp.  Christian life is a tiring struggle against evil, but we're accompanied by Mother Church who prays that her children conquer it by Christ's power:  “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”
Post-audience:  The upcoming Inter-Korean Summit is an opportunity to start dialogue leading to reconciliation and union, to guarantee peace.  May those with political responsibilities have the courage of hope making themselves artisans of peace continuing on the path begun for the good of all.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  In the light of the Master
There can be any number of theories about what constitutes holiness, with various explanations and distinctions. Such reflection may be useful, but nothing is more enlightening than turning to Jesus’ words and seeing his way of teaching the truth. Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy when he gave us the Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23). The Beatitudes are like a Christian’s identity card. So if anyone asks: “What must one do to be a good Christian?”, the answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount.[Homily 9 June 2014] In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives.
The word “happy” or “blessed” thus becomes a synonym for “holy”. It expresses the fact that those faithful to God and his word, by their self-giving, gain true happiness. [63-64]
Read
  • 1 Pt 5:5b-14  Clothe yourselves with humility; humble yourselves under God's mighty hand.  Cast your worries on him; he cares for you.  Be sober and vigilant.  Resist the devil.  God who called you will restore and strengthen you.  Remain firm in God's grace.  Greet each other with a loving kiss.  Peace to you all!
  • Ps 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  I'll proclaim your faithfulness.  The heavens proclaim your wonders and your faithfulness....
  • Mk 16:15-20  Jesus to the Eleven:  "Go proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.  These signs will accompany believers:  they'll drive out demons, speak new languages, pick up serpents, lay hands on and heal the sick...."  Then he was taken up into heaven and took his seat at God's right hand.  They preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them....
Reflect
  • Creighton:  "Watching with one another":  The words “Be sober and vigilant” remind us that Christian life provides no immunity from struggles.  Those who consider the good news of Jesus’ resurrection as “bad news” can persecute believers; just as Jesus was rejected, so will we be.  Shall we live sobriety and vigilance alone, in fear, with hand-wringing?  No; in solidarity:  “Your brothers and sisters are also suffering.”  Perhaps those experiencing the consolation of faith might pray for those suffering harassment or persecution.  The suffering might pray to receive consolation through their brothers and sisters' prayers....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Making your Mark":  The early Church, and Mark, tried to proclaim the Gospel to the world, using every means available to them: walking, meetings in public places, synagogues, the Temple, and homes....  Mark, AKA John and John Mark, was part of the first missionary journey.  Trying to permeate the culture with the Gospel (Catechism 899), he found a new way to share the Good News:  the written word, a Gospel narrative.  People still read his gospel and give their lives to Jesus; many are in heaven thanks to his innovation and dedication.  Today there are many ways to communicate that didn't exist in Mark's time:  social media, websites, email, txt....  But traditional person-to-person contact is still the most effective way to reach a heart.  May you discover a lasting means to reach many with the Good News.
    St. Mark/ Theophilia
  • Passionist:  Mark ended his gospel with the empty tomb.  People of faith must write and live their own conclusion.  We preach Christ crucified, take up our cross, and become disciples on mission, proclaiming the resurrection.  Bear all that's unresolved in your heart, trying to love the questions themselves.  If you live the questions now, you'll gradually live into the answer.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Go and preach the gospel to all creation":  All four gospels proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world; Mark's is the shortest and likely earliest, likely written in Rome, likely written for Gentiles, especially Rome Christians.  "The Spirit willed to choose for the writing of the Gospel two [Mark and Luke] who were not even from the Twelve, so it might not be thought that the grace of evangelization had come only to the apostles" (Augustine, Sermon 239).  Mark ends his account with Jesus' last appearance to the apostles before his ascension.  Jesus' departure and ascension were an end and a beginning for his disciples:  the end of his physical presence with them, the beginning of his presence with them through the Spirit.  Jesus' last words to them point to their mission to be witnesses of his death and resurrection and to proclaim the good news.  God's love and salvation are for the whole world.  The gospel is God's power to forgive, heal, deliver, and to restore life.  All believers are to be heralds of the good news and ambassadors for Christ; the Lord works in and through us by the Spirit's power.
  • Universalis:  Mark, cousin of Barnabas, disciple of Peter, accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey, followed him to Rome, founded the Church in Alexandria.   His gospel is told from Peter’s point of view. See also Wikipedia.
Dress legend
  • 'Hands' pin:  "Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand" (1st reading); "Believers will lay hands on the sick, who will recover"; Jesus took his seat at God's right hand (gospel)
  • 'Lion' pin:  "Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion" (1st reading); symbol of Mark the Evangelist and of Jesus' resurrection
  • 'Peace sign" tie bar:  "Peace to all you who are in Christ." (1st reading)
  • 'International stamps' tie:  "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel" (gospel)
  • 'Sign' pin:  "These signs will accompany believers:..." (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  God 'called' you to his glory... (1st reading)
  • 'Car with mouth' tie pin:  "Greet one another with a loving kiss" (1st reading); "believers will 'drive' out demons,..." (gospel)
  • 'Serpent' tie pin:  "...pick up serpents..." (gospel)
  • Red on tie:  Liturgical color for St. Mark feast
  • White in shirt and socks:  Easter season