ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO

Feast of Saint Mark, evangelistLectionary: 555

Reading 1 1 PT 5:5B-14
Beloved: 

Clothe yourselves with humility

in your dealings with one another, for:
God opposes the proud

but bestows favor on the humble.
So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,

that he may exalt you in due time.

Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.
Be sober and vigilant.

Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion

looking for someone to devour.

Resist him, steadfast in faith,

knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world

undergo the same sufferings.

The God of all grace

who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus

will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you

after you have suffered a little.

To him be dominion forever. Amen.
I write you this briefly through Silvanus,

whom I consider a faithful brother,

exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.

Remain firm in it.

The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son.

Greet one another with a loving kiss.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Responsorial Psalm PS 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

or:

R. Alleluia.

The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;

through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.

For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;

in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. 

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

or:

R. Alleluia.

The heavens proclaim your wonders, O LORD,

and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones.

For who in the skies can rank with the LORD?

Who is like the LORD among the sons of God? 

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;

in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk.

At your name they rejoice all the day,

and through your justice they are exalted.

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Alleluia 1 COR 1:23A-24B
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

We proclaim Christ crucified:

he is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 16:15-20
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:

“Go into the whole world

and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;

whoever does not believe will be condemned.

These signs will accompany those who believe:

in my name they will drive out demons,

they will speak new languages.

They will pick up serpents with their hands,

and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.

They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,

was taken up into heaven

and took his seat at the right hand of God.

But they went forth and preached everywhere,

while the Lord worked with them

and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

REFLECTION: ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO

“The church that is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greeting, as does Mark my son.” –1 Peter 5:13
During the Easter season, the Church presents to us a gallery of resurrection-witnesses. We see Mary Magdalene, Thomas, Stephen, Philip, Peter, and now Mark. Each of these people were in the tomb of sin but miraculously rose from the dead into the risen light.
We know (John) Mark was a dropout, someone manipulated by fear rather than walking by faith. He left Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13:13). Although Paul refused to let him rejoin the second missionary journey, Barnabas and eventually Peter took Mark under their wings (Acts 15:39). Mark was transformed. He became the evangelist who wrote the earliest Gospel. The one who dropped out of the first missionary journey provided a major resource for missionary journeys of all times.
Mark was chosen by the Lord to write a Gospel, the very Word of God, not because he was so great, talented, or even holy. He was chosen for the same reason Mary Magdalene was chosen to be the first resurrection-witness, Stephen the first martyr, Paul the first missionary, and Peter the first Pope. All those chosen to be first have one thing in common. All had fallen in love with Jesus and had been dramatically transformed.
PRAYER: Father, may I profess my faith in the risen Jesus and see the promised signs accompany me (Mk 16:17).

PROMISE: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation. The man who believes in it and accepts baptism will be saved; the man who refuses to believe in it will be condemned.” –Mk 16:15-16

PRAISE: St. Mark walked away from the first Christian mission. He grew in the Spirit and later wrote a Gospel to proclaim Jesus throughout the ages.

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