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Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist

The one reference in sacred scripture attributed to St. Mark about himself (many scripture scholars strongly believe) is of the young man who followed Jesus and his apostles to the garden of Gethsemane the night before his passion and death. It is a detail that none of the other gospels include. So scripture scholars are inclined to think Mark was situating himself in the story as a way of saying “I was there!”

The gospel account attributed to him would not have been possible without the input of someone on the inside, someone with a closer link to Jesus than himself. Christian tradition tells us that Mark was a close companion of St. Peter, and must have set to writing Peter’s most personal accounts of Jesus. The oldest version of the gospel is written in Greek, perhaps an attempt to get word out to the larger culture rather than just for use of the local Jewish community. And if an older version is discovered in Aramaic, then someone else may have translated it into Greek for that wider circulation. But that’s a rabbit hole unto itself without any supporting evidence.

By his gospel, Mark did exactly as Jesus commanded in today’s gospel passage. In it, Jesus sends the Eleven “to all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Who of us know how our lives would unfold eventually, and how exactly we will affect the lives of others, and the rest of the world for that matter? But like he told Mary Magdalene when he rose from the dead, he told the Eleven, and he tells us. Now that we have encountered the Risen Jesus, “Go and tell the others.” And might I add “with your words and the example of your lives.”

This mass was offered for the intentions of Beverly Campbell.

Rolo B Castillo © 2020

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