Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist (2)

Some people think discerning your vocation is like career planning, but today’s feast of Mark reminds us that praying about God’s will for your life is not exactly the same thing. It’s safe to say that Mark didn’t plan on being an evangelist. He knew many of the apostles; when Peter was miraculously freed from prison he went to the house of Mark’s mother (see Acts 12:12). Mark tried being a missionary with Paul and Barnabas, but went home before the missionary trip was over, and this upset Paul so much that when Barnabas tried bring Mark along again, he and Paul parted ways over it (see Acts 12:25, 15:37-39). It seems the missionary life wasn’t for him.

Scripture doesn’t chronicle it, but tradition holds that Mark eventually started helping Peter as a secretary (see today’s First Reading) and the accounts in Mark’s Gospel were probably the ones he heard from Peter himself. Mark probably didn’t appreciate the importance of his work in his lifetime, but we all owe him a debt for helping us remember the life of Christ through his Gospel.

What does God want you to do with your life? Don’t focus on big plans, but know he already has big plans for you. Just take one step at a time, asking Our Lord to guide you, and be open to his will.

Readings: 1 Peter 5:5b–14; Psalm 89:2–3, 6–7, 16–17; Mark 16:15–20. See also Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist.

Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist

Readings: 1 Peter 5:5b–14; Psalm 89:2–3, 6–7, 16–17; Mark 16:15–20.

We can be rightly jealous of someone like St. Mark the Evangelist. St. Peter in the First Reading refers to him as his son, and there is a strong tradition that Mark was Peter’s secretary and possibly wrote down in his Gospel what Peter himself told to the first disciples regarding the life of Jesus. Our Lord sends the Apostles in the Gospel today to the whole world, and the Gospel of Mark was written to help the Church fulfill that mission.

Mark was not only blessed for receiving first hand testimony from the Apostles, but also because God chose to communicate his word, his Gospel, through Mark. Mark was not just a pen in Our Lord’s hands, but the communicator of a vital experience inspired and aided by God.

Let’s thank Our Lord today for giving us such a precious inheritance in the first witnesses of the faith by reading some of Mark’s Gospel and trying to put its teachings into practice.