saturday 25 April 2020
St Mark the Evangelist
He was a cousin of Barnabas and accompanied the apostle Paul on his first missionary journey; later he followed him to Rome. He is credited with founding the Church in Alexandria.
Entrance Antiphon: Mk 16: 15
Go into all the world, and proclaim the Gospel to every creature, alleluia.
O God, who raised up Saint Mark, your Evangelist, and endowed him with the grace to preach the Gospel, grant, we pray, that we may so profit from his teaching as to follow faithfully in the footsteps of Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : 1 Peter 5:5-14
All wrap yourselves in humility to be servants of each other, because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble. Bow down, then, before the power of God now, and he will raise you up on the appointed day; unload all your worries on to him, since he is looking after you. Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same things. You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again: he will confirm, strengthen and support you. His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen. 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 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. Greet one another with a kiss of love.
R/ I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord.
- I will sing for ever of your love, O Lord; through all ages my mouth will proclaim your truth. Of this I am sure, that your love lasts for ever, that your truth is firmly established as the heavens.
- The heavens proclaim your wonders, O Lord; the assembly of your holy ones proclaims your truth. For who in the skies can compare with the Lord or who is like the Lord among the sons of God?
- Happy the people who acclaim such a king, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who find their joy every day in your name, who make your justice the source of their bliss.
Gospel Acclamation: 1 Co 1:23-24
Alleluia, alleluia! We are preaching a crucified Christ, who is the power and the wisdom of God. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 16:15-20
Jesus showed himself to the Eleven, and said to them: ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’ And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.
Prayer over the Offerings
As we venerate the glory of Saint Mark, we offer you, Lord, the sacrifice of praise and humbly beseech you, that your Church may always persevere in the preaching of the Gospel. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 28: 20
Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, says the Lord, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that what we have received from your holy altar may sanctify us and make us strong in the faith of the Gospel which Saint Mark proclaimed. Through Christ our Lord.
The universal Church celebrates the Feast of St Mark. He is usually identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12. When Saint Peter escaped from prison, he went to the home of Mark’s mother. Paul and Barnabas took him along on the first missionary journey, but for some reason Mark returned alone to Jerusalem. Paul’s refusal to let Mark accompany him on the second journey despite Barnabas’ insistence, is an indication that Mark may have displeased Paul. However, that Paul later asks Mark to visit him in prison, is an equal sign that the trouble did not last long. Mark wrote the first and shortest of the Synoptic Gospels likely for Jewish converts into Christianity. The Gospel emphasizes the gradual rejection of the Messiah by the Jews leading up to the scandal of the crucifixion. St Mark is credited with the foundation of the Church of Alexandria. Mark was not an apostle of Jesus Christ. However, Mark fulfilled in his life what every Christian is called to do: proclaim to all people the Good News that is the source of salvation.
Mark is conscious of the temptation of the evil one. In fact in our First Reading, we are told to watch out for our enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. So we should stand up to him, strong in faith. Unfortunately many of us easily fall into his tricks. But Mark holds very strongly that we have a mission to go out to the whole world and make disciples of everyone, baptising those who believe and assuring them of the love of God. And as we read in the Gospel today, those who believe in Christ will receive both his blessing and protection.