on your mark, get set, go
"The church that is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greeting, as does Mark my son." —1 Peter 5:13
During the Easter season, the Church presents to us a gallery of resurrection-witnesses. We see Mary Magdalene, Thomas, Stephen, Philip, Peter, and now Mark. Each of these people were in the tomb of sin but miraculously rose from the dead into the risen light.
We know (John) Mark was a dropout, someone manipulated by fear rather than walking by faith. He left Paul's first missionary journey (Acts 13:13). Although Paul refused to let him rejoin the second missionary journey, Barnabas and eventually Peter took Mark under their wings (Acts 15:39). Mark was transformed. He became the evangelist who wrote the earliest Gospel. The one who dropped out of the first missionary journey provided a major resource for missionary journeys of all times.
Mark was chosen by the Lord to write a Gospel, the very Word of God, not because he was so great, talented, or even holy. He was chosen for the same reason Mary Magdalene was chosen to be the first resurrection-witness, Stephen the first martyr, Paul the first missionary, and Peter the first Pope. All those chosen to be first have one thing in common. All had fallen in love with Jesus and had been dramatically transformed.
Prayer: Father, may I profess my faith in the risen Jesus and see the promised signs accompany me (Mk 16:17).
Promise: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation. The man who believes in it and accepts baptism will be saved; the man who refuses to believe in it will be condemned." —Mk 16:15-16
Praise: St. Mark walked away from the first Christian mission. He grew in the Spirit and later wrote a Gospel to proclaim Jesus throughout the ages.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 2016
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