The Feast of St. Mark ~ The Very Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI
Reading I: 1 Pt 5:5b-14
Responsorial Psalm: 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
Alleluia: 1 Cor 1:23a-24b
Gospel: Mk 16:15-20
Liturgical Colour: Red.
Feast of At Mark The Evangelist
My dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,
In the midst of our Church Easter season this year we now come together to commemorate the feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist. Mark was not actually one of the twelve apostles, but from the Acts of the Apostles, We know that he was a disciple of Saint Peter.
Saint Peter refers to Mark as “my son” in his first letter, which could mean that Mark had been baptized by Peter. Mark was not an eyewitness to the actions and teachings of Jesus; he learned the details of Jesus’ Ministry which he put into his Gospel from Peter. For this reason Saint Mark’s Gospel has sometimes been called the “Gospel of Peter”. Saint Mark’s Gospel can be read easily in a single sitting, as it is the shortest of the four Gospels. It wouldn’t be a bad thing for us all to read his Gospel again ourselves today.
Mark also accompanied Saint Paul on a mission to Cyprus, after going from Jerusalem to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. Saint Paul even speaks of Mark as his coworker and his consoler during his imprisonment in Rome.
According to the historian Eusebius, Mark ended his days as bishop of Alexandria.
Saint Mark is the patron saint in Venice and his relics were brought there from Alexandria in the ninth century. Atop the basilica is the figure of a lion because the lion is the symbol for Saint Mark’s Gospel.
Mark is represented as a lion because his Gospel begins with the voice of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness. The voice of one crying in the desert: Make ready the way of the Lord.
The Lion is also a symbol of courage, and Saint Mark courageously faced a martyr’s death. While he was celebrating Mass in Alexandria, his persecutors seized him, tied a rope around him and dragged him through the streets, then imprisoned and killed him.
We are today reminded of that which we were told by our Lord Christ in our Gospel reading today, that being to “Go out to the whole world, and preach the Gospel to all creation.”
May Saint Mark’s example and prayers help us all to carry out the Gospel of Christ throughout the world, proclaiming it to all creation, for the Glory of God and Salvation of souls.
Let us Pray:
O Glorious St Mark, through the grace of God our Father, you became a great Evangelist, preaching the Good News of Christ. May you help us to know Him well, so that we may faithfully live our lives as followers of Christ.
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