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Thursday, April 25, 1996

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St. Mark

1 Peter 5:5-14
Psalm 89
Mark 16:15-20

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the mark of humility

"Clothe yourselves with humility, because God 'is stern with the arrogant but to the humble He shows kindness.' " —1 Peter 5:5

After John Mark quit the first missionary journey (Acts 13:13), he changed his mind and was willing to be taken on the second missionary journey (Acts 15:37). This may have been an act of repentance and humility. When Paul refused to take Mark (Acts 15:38), Mark must have eventually accepted this, for Mark was later on good terms with Paul (see Col 4:10; 2 Tm 4:11). This reconciliation required acts of humility from both Mark and Paul. Mark later humbled himself and sought to be discipled and fathered by Peter (see 1 Pt 5:13). Like all Christians, Mark was repeatedly called to humble himself. Mark accepted some of those calls.

As Mark humbled himself, the Lord showed great kindness to him (see 1 Pt 5:5). The Lord promised: "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted" (Mt 23:12). In Mark's humility, the Lord exalted him by choosing him to compose one of the Gospels. The Lord even made Mark a canonized saint, internationally recognized for centuries as a model disciple. Even churches and cities are named after Mark. The Lord continues to work through Mark's intercession and ministry in an amazing way.

We can also be exalted like Mark, if we will humble ourselves as Jesus did (see Phil 2:8). Humble yourself.

Prayer:  Father, may I humble myself by going to Confession at least monthly for the rest of my life.

Promise:  "They will use My name to expel demons, they will speak entirely new languages, they will be able to handle serpents, they will be able to drink deadly poison without harm, and the sick upon whom they lay their hands will recover." —Mk 16:17-18

Praise:  As a youth, Mark prayed fervently along with the other members of the church who met in his house for the release of Pope Peter from death row. God answered Mark's prayers by miraculously setting Peter free (see Acts 12:12).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995