Wednesday, April 25, 2018

April 25 - St. Mark, Evangelist

+ St. Mark was converted to the faith by St. Peter, Mark being one of his disciples who afterwards accompanied him to Rome, acting there as his secretary and interpreter. When St. Peter was writing his first epistle to the churches of Asia, he affectionately joins with his own salutation that of his faithful companion, whom he calls “my son Mark.”

The Roman people asked St. Mark to put in writing for them the substance of St. Peter’s frequent discourses on Our Lord’s life. This the Evangelist did under the eye and with the express sanction of St. Peter, and every page of his brief but graphic gospel so bore the markings of St. Peter’s character, that the Fathers used to name it “Peter’s Gospel.”

St. Mark was then sent to Egypt to found the Church of Alexandria. Here his disciples became the wonder of the world for their piety and asceticism, so that St. Jerome speaks of St. Mark as the father of the anchorites, who at a later time thronged the Egyptian deserts. Here too, he set up the first Christian school, the fruitful mother of many illustrious doctors and bishops.

After many years of governing his see, St. Mark was one day seized by heathens, dragged by rope over stones, and thrown into prison. This was repeated the next day, but at that point Mark was consoled by a vision of angels and with the voice of Jesus accompanying him, he went to his reward.

It was from the sketch of St. Mark’s Gospel that the other 3 gospel writers took their cue, and in time a rounded, balanced and canonically accepted picture of Jesus, Son of God come to earth, emerged. And it was his message that was proclaimed to all the world, at his command, when he ascended into heaven to return again one day to judge men and women on their deeds of charity.

We thank God for the seed of the gospel that he related through St Mark, may we likewise in this spring time of the year, plant similar seeds of faith in the hearts and minds of all we meet this day- sometimes all it takes is a friendly glance, a kind word, a helpful gesture – and the recipient may be touched by the Spirit and turn to God in ways they least expect!

We proclaim Christ crucified; he is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

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