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Wednesday, April 25, 2001

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St. Mark

1 Peter 5:5-14
Psalm 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
Mark 16:15-20

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mark my words

"Through all generations my mouth shall proclaim Your faithfulness." —Psalm 89:2

God often chooses the lowly to spread His word. John Mark, the writer of the earliest gospel, is an encouragement to those of us with a checkered past.

John Mark possibly lacked a fatherly presence in his life, as indicated by the mention only of his mother in the Bible (Acts 12:12). Mark was the cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10) and accompanied Barnabas and Paul on the first Christian mission (Acts 12:25). Yet John Mark "deserted" them and refused to accompany them (Acts 15:37-38) after the action got rough (Acts 13:13). In addition to fear, Mark also could have been homesick for Jerusalem, or he could have been upset that his cousin was no longer the lead apostle on the mission. This is not the mindset of a fruitful missionary team member, and Paul therefore refused to give Mark a chance to redeem himself on a second mission (Acts 15:38-39). Some Bible scholars speculate that the young man with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane who was in such a panic to flee from the soldiers that he left his clothes behind was John Mark himself (Mk 14:51-52). If this is true, it adds to Mark's tendency to run away in time of trouble.

Are you like John Mark? Do you have a history from which you can't escape? John Mark persevered, and became a faithful, useful missionary, even a co-worker of Paul (Phlm 1:24; 2 Tm 4:11). "God makes all things work together for the good of those who love" Him (Rm 8:28), and He is the same today as He was in Mark's time (Heb 13:8). Give your entire life, warts and all, to the Lord.

Prayer:  Father, I'm never useless to You. I am all Yours.

Promise:  "The man who believes in (the good news) and accepts baptism will be saved." —Mk 16:15-16

Praise:  St. Mark proclaimed the words of Jesus: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to all creation" (Mk 16:15).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000