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St Mark writes his Evangelium at the dictation of St Peter,

by Pasquale Ottino, 17th century, Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux

Born 12 AD in North Africa and died at the age of 66 in 68 AD.

A reading of the holy Gospel according to 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.


But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

How would you react if it was suggested to you that you might suffer and die for someone you loved ? Listening, obeying and following are needed if we are to work for the Kingdom of God. And we are to be disciples for Jesus, accepting and doing to bring many souls to Jesus. Are we ready to be disciples for Jesus? Do we know what it means "to be a disciple"?

St Mark's feast day is today and we celebrate his gospel writings written 30 years after the Crucifixion. It is the oldest and the shortest of the Gospels written for gentile converts in Rome after the deaths of Peter and Paul. Peter referred to him as "my son" and went to his home when he miraculously escaped jail and was part of a Christian group that met at Mark's home. After the Ascension of Jesus, St Peter and St Mark became travel companions. Mark accurately wrote down the sermons of Peter, thus composing the Gospel according to Mark.

His gospel begins with John the Baptist and quickly we begin the public life of Jesus. The mystery of who Jesus is resounds throughout as we see the healings and miracles, culminating with the rejection of the Lord, His betrayal, and the Crucifixion. The climax is the Resurrection with eventual commissioning of the disciples.

He was a disciple of Jesus and there is conjecture that he might have been the young man who at Gethsemane ran off naked when the Roman soldiers seized him. He might also be the Mark who was in disagreement with Paul before they reconciled. He was described as John Mark in the Book of Acts and a cousin of Barnabas.

Mark proclaimed to all people the Good News through his writings. He founded the episcopal see of Alexandria. He is featured with a winged lion in reference to his description of John the Baptist (Mark 1:3), "voice of one crying out in the desert" and Ezekiel's vision of four winged creatures to the evangelists. Major shrines are in Alexandria ( Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral ) and Venice ( Basilica di San Marco, which holds the relics of Saint Mark, the patron saint of the city).

St Mark was martyred in 68 AD in Alexandria. The pagans of the city did not like his efforts of conversion and they placed a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets until he was dead.

He is the patron saint of lawyers, notaries, opticians, secretaries, interpreters, and prisoners.

Are we ready to be disciples for the Kingdom of God? Can we use our talents and gifts given to us by God to carry on His work?

"The Church, which has spread everywhere, even to the ends of the earth, received the faith from the apostles and their disciples. The Church spread throughout the whole world, received this preaching and this faith and now preserves it carefully, dwelling as it were in one house." (St Iranaeus)

God Bless You

(1) The Franciscan Media, internet

(3) Universalis prayer app


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