St. Mark evangelized the Good News through both the spoken and written word...
Reflections on the readings for Feast of St. Mark (April 25, 2022): 1 PT 5:5-14; PS 89:2-3,6-7,16-17; MK 16:15-20
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
He still influences the life of Christians today because of the Gospel of Christ that he authored.
St. Mark is not only one of the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels, but also the earliest of them; certainly his Gospel is shortest. Clearly, its influence has been immense since the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke seem to have much in common with it. About St. Mark himself, he is usually believed to have been the John Mark mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and who is a relative of St. Barnabas. Mark was also at various times a companion of St. Paul and St. Peter. The Gospel was probably written in the 60’s A.D. in Rome. In our readings today we hear what is referred to as the Longer Ending of Mark’s Gospel: “Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.’ … They went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs” (Mark 16:15-16,20). This is indeed what the Apostles and other disciples did to spread the news of salvation. However, the earliest manuscripts of Mark’s Gospel end a little before that, with the angel at the empty tomb of Jesus and the faithful women who went there at dawn. The angel tells them that the Risen Christ is going ahead of them, but that they will see Him -- just as He had foretold. This is a more open ended conclusion for Christ’s followers to interpret.
St. Mark is considered the founder and first bishop of the Church in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was likely martyred. He may have been dragged through the streets until he succumbed. The symbol of Mark is a winged lion. Most believe this refers to the opening of his Gospel that speaks of St. John the Baptist as a voice crying out in the wilderness, conveying the idea of a roaring lion as he proclaimed the coming of our Savior.
Suggested missionary action: Let us ask St. Mark to help us spread the message of redemption through prayer, word, and example. We can also seek his help as we continue to read the Gospels, as well as the rest of both the Old and New Testaments, as fellow disciples of our Savior.