ST MARK, EVANGELIST (Feast) Red
First Reading: 1Pt 5:5b-14; Psalm: 89. R. v. 2a; Gospel: Mk 16:15-20
ZEAL FOR THE GOSPEL
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Today we celebrate the feast of St Mark, a great evangelist whose zeal for the gospel was rooted in his love for Christ. He is the author of the second synoptic gospel which he wrote in Rome around 60 AD for the Gentiles who converted to Christianity. He was in some occasions addressed as John Mark in the New Testament.
Prior to Christ’s ascension, he mandated his apostles, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mk 16:15). St Mark was exemplary in carrying out this mandate with so much commitment and passion. He carried out his missionary journey through the island of Cyprus with St Paul and Barnabas his cousins. Because of his love for the good news, in several occasions he made use of his mother’s house in Jerusalem as a meeting place for Christians where they share the faith and encouraged one another. Tradition has it that he was the founder of the Church in Alexandria. He was martyred in 68 AD.
We can learn from St Mark to be zealous about the gospel and the things of God? Do we have some spark of enthusiasm for the gospel to reach out to others? What are our own contributions to Church building? Are we ready to offer our resources and energy in service to the church and to one another? What do we contribute in making sure that the suffering people around us are relieved of hunger, pain and suffering? Our moral, spiritual, financial, and physical supports are also ways through which we can spread the gospel. So, just like St Mark, we can also contribute our quota for the growth of the gospel.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us not to relent as we strive to witness to the gospel through our words and actions. Amen.