St. Mark, the Evangelist

St. Mark, the Evangelist, is the author of the second Gospel and the patron saint of notaries. He wrote the Gospel in Greek for the Gentile converts to Christianity. Tradition says the Romans asked St. Mark to record the teachings of St. Peter about Jesus.

St. Mark is also said to have traveled with St. Paul and St. Barnabas, who was Mark's cousin, on their missionary journey through Cyprus. Mark is said to have founded the Church in Alexandria.

St. Mark is sometimes called John Mark in the New Testament. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians.

1 Peter 5:5-14

5 Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you.
7 Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.
8 Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.
9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.
10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you.
11 To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
12 By Silva'nus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God; stand fast in it.
13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark.
14 Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you that are in Christ.

Mark 16:15-20

15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.

Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17

1 I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations.
2 For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.
5 Let the heavens praise thy wonders, O LORD, thy faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD,
15 Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance,
16 who exult in thy name all the day, and extol thy righteousness.

Lord, the courage to endure suffering as you did

St Mark, Evangelist
1 Pt. 5:5b-14; Ps. 89(88):2-3,6-7,16-17;
Mk. 16:15-20 (Ps Wk II)

The readings for today, though chosen to celebrate the feast of St. Mark, vibrate with the sentiments of this Easter season. The Gospel acclamation surprisingly celebrates the death of Christ Jesus on the Cross. What was deemed to be shameful becomes a sign of something to be celebrated. This is a message that has been repeated time and again but something that can never be understood.

Peter’s message to the new followers of the Way is a manifestation of unconditional belief in the Paschal mystery — there is life after death, there is boundless joy after a brief period of suffering and this we believe only because Jesus rose from the dead. Suffering to a believer is salvific, not because suffering is positive in itself but because of the promise of lasting joy, because of the promise of life after death, resurrection after the passion.

Lord Jesus, there are moments when I feel that my pain is too much to bear. In those moments I seek desperately for relief from suffering. Give me, Lord, the courage to endure suffering as you did. Remind me, Lord, in times of suffering that there is eternal joy waiting for me just as you rose from the dead to become Lord and Saviour for all eternity.