Mark 16: 15-20
Today, the church celebrates the feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist. Saint Mark the evangelist is one of the synoptic writers of the gospel and one of the four Evangelists. Saint Mark the evangelist is the author of the gospel of Saint Mark.
Also, many scholars believe that he is the first person to write a gospel. There is also a consensus among some scholars that some of the other authors may have referred to His gospel accounts even to the extent of copying from him. Mark the evangelist played a vital role in spreading the Gospel as a missionary in the early church.
Mark the evangelist is a cousin of Barnabas, (Colossians 4:10). Barnabas is the man that worked together with Saint Paul in their missionary journeys until they separated (Acts 15:36-39).
Mark the evangelist accompanied the apostle Paul on his first missionary journey. He also followed him to Rome.
But He is originally a disciple of Peter, and his gospel is from Peter’s point of view.
In the first reading of today according to Saint Peter, He refers to this when He says
“I write these few words to you through Silvanus, who is a brother I know I can trust, to encourage you never to let go of this true grace of God to which I bear witness. Your sister in Babylon, who is with you among the chosen, sends you greetings; so does my son, Mark.”
The Usefulness of Mark the Evangelist.
Mark the evangelist is regarded as the first person who decided to put the gospel into writing. Without Saint Mark, many of the things we have known about Jesus today would have been lost.
He is credited with founding the Church in Alexandria. His body was stolen from Alexandria in 828 and taken to Venice, who adopted him as their patron saint.
Then, He was first introduced in Acts 12 as the companion of Paul and Barnabas on their apostolic missions. He worked alongside these two faithful Christians to spread the Gospel across the nations.
But later, Mark’s decision to withdraw from Pamphylia became a point of contention between Paul and Barnabas, who then decided to separate.
Barnabas went with Mark to Cyprus, while Paul continued with Silas to Syria and Cilicia. We see this in Acts 15:36-39.
However, Paul later resolves the conflict later.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul refers to Mark in a way that depicts love and familiarity. Paul says:
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas, concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him. – Colossians 4:10.
Here, there is evidence that Paul later sent Saint Mark to the Colossians.
In 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul also remarks that Mark is “useful” in his ministry, and in Colossians 4:11, he includes him in a mention of his “co-workers in the kingdom of God” who are a “comfort” to him.
Therefore, Mark was very useful and vital in the mission of proclaiming the kingdom of God and touching lives. Therefore, He also teaches us to have the zeal in finding what our mission is and then do it with all our hearts.
What is Your Mission?
It is time to question why we are in this world. If you are part of the world now, why are you here or do we think we are just here for nothing?
Why did God take the time to create you and send you here? God cannot bring us into the world just to be busy around, we are here for something highly essential.
Like Mark the Evangelist did, in the gospel today too, as Jesus ascended into heaven, He categorically stipulated the mission that His apostles must undertake and by extension all of us who are His disciples. Jesus wants us to be the harbingers of the good news.
Jesus says to them “‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned.
The Greek word for good news used here is euangelion which is a compound word based on eu (good) and angello (preach or proclaim).
In the New Testament, we use the term Evangelion to speak of the good news of Jesus Christ and the salvation that He offers. That is the salvation that God offers His people.
The emphasis here, then, is that Jesus’ disciples (including us) have a responsibility to proclaim the good news of the salvation provided by Christ Jesus. The good news is the offer of forgiveness of sins and repentance.
Therefore, we have the prerogative of proclaiming the Good news of a loving and caring God. This is the mission of spreading God’s Love wherever we are and in whatever we do.
Then, we have the mission of saving lives and converting and touching souls. We have the responsibility to make sure that people will see Christ in us.
Also, We are to teach! We are to preach! And most importantly, we are to live as Jesus lived!
So, We are to love as deeply as Jesus loved! And we are to share the wealth of our gifts, talents and abundance as Jesus did.
What type of News are You Spreading?
Mark the evangelist proclaims the Good News. Jesus also asks us to do the same. The question then is ” what type of mission have we undertaken? What type of news are we spreading? Bad news? The evils we perpetrated? Fearful news?
Are we misleading souls or are we converting them? When a soul meets you, will he be led astray and lose the fear of God or will he or she come closer to God through you? What impact have we made on souls that come in contact with us?
How many souls have we transformed or touched with the type of lives we live? What are we using the gifts, resources, positions etc God blessed us with to do?
Therefore, If you are a Christian know that we have a mission, and this mission is awaiting us and maybe the standard for our judgment on the last day. Let us have the zeal in working for the salvation of souls.
May God bless you dearest and help us to live the way He wants. May He continue to protect you and guide your steps Amen.