Wednesday Homily - Third Week of Easter - Year I

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The New Testament includes several references to the Mark

whom Saint Peter mentions in today’s first reading.

In the book of Acts, Saint Luke narrates,

After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission,

they returned to Jerusalem,

taking with them John, who is called Mark.”

Saint Mark was then known as John Mark.

He was the cousin of Barnabas,

whom he accompanied, along with Paul,

on their first journey to Cyprus.

Mark mistakenly deserted Paul and Barnabas halfway

through a missionary tour, leaving them to carry on without his help.
Mark’s desertion was so serious / that it caused Paul and Barnabas

to argue about whether or not they should take him with them again.

Later, Mark worked closely with Peter in Rome

and became the apostle’s trusted companion.

In fact, Mark’s Gospel was based on the preaching of Peter.

Tradition tells us / that Mark evangelized in Alexandria,

and some believe he was the young boy in Gethsemane

who ran away from the soldiers without his garment.

Finally, he is revered as the author of the Gospel / that bears his name.

In his book, Mark describes many of Jesus’ marvelous works.

Instead of including his lengthier sermons,

which we find in the other Gospels,

Mark focuses more on Jesus’ power over sickness and evil.

He bounces from one scene and subject to another.

From him, we get the impression

that Jesus was practically racing through his ministry.  

Mark also expects / that Christians of all eras

will share the role of wonder workers

in order to bring others to believe.

As we honor Saint Mark today,

we can ask the Holy Spirit to give us a greater confidence in him –

a confidence / that will send us out into the world

as his instruments of grace.

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