Saturday, April 25, 2009

Go, preach the good news to the whole world.

Today is the feast of Saint Mark the evangelist, the writer of the earliest and shortest of the four gospels. Mark is first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, when he set out on a missionary journey with his uncle Barnabas, who was a companion of Saint Paul. But, after a while, Mark quite and returned home (Acts 13:13). Some time later, Mark is a companion of Peter in Rome, and is mentioned in Peter’s first Letter, which is today’s first reading.

Today’s gospel, in keeping with the season, is Mark’s account of Jesus’ commission to the Eleven, the last time he spoke to them before he returned to the Father:

Go, preach the good news to the whole world. Everyone who believes in me and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe in me will be condemned. Whoever believes in me will be able to work wonders: In my name, they will drive out demons, and they will speak new languages. They will heal sick people by placing their hands on them.

After the Lord Jesus had said these things to his disciples, he was taken up into heaven where he took his place at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went forth and preached everywhere. The Lord worked with them and confirmed his promise through the miracles they performed.

Almighty God, who by the hand of Mark the evangelist have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

No comments: