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Homily (Reflection) for the Feast of Saint Mark (25th April, 2017) on the Gospel and the Feast

1Pt 5:5-14;
Ps 88:2-3.6-7.16-17. (R. cf. v.2);
Mk 16:15-20.

Saint Mark went with St Paul on his first missionary journey, along with his cousin Barnabas. He made later journeys with Barnabas alone. He was in Rome with Paul, and with St Peter. His Gospel is based on Peter’s teaching in Rome: its concise, direct and vivid style tells us something of Mark’s personality. Tradition dating from the third century says that he founded the Church in Alexandria.[1]
Topic: Listen before you preach.
We see in today’s gospel the commissioning of the disciples (Mk 16:15-18) and the ascension of Jesus into heaven (Mk 16:19-20). Jesus charged His eleven apostles thus: “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.” After His ascension into heaven, the disciples went and proclaimed the good news everywhere.
The consequence of one not believing the gospel is clear in today’s gospel, cf. Jn 3:19. We must remember also that it is obligatory for every preacher to preach the Word of God. Hence God warns,
If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, or speak to warn the wicked from their wicked way, in order to save their life, those wicked persons shall die for  their iniquity; but their blood I will require at your hand (Ezek 3:18; cf. Ezek 33:8).
Saint Paul cried out, “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1Cor 9:16).
Saint Mark is a good example for all. He first believed the good news and in turn preached it to others as evident in his gospel. Let us listen to God first and then preach to others what we believe (the good news).
Bible Reading: Ezek 3:16-21; 33:1-9.
Thought for today: Do your part and save yourself.
Let us pray: May Almighty God open our ears to listen to the Holy Spirit and then share its fruits with our brethren – Amen.
Saint Mark the evangelist – Pray for us.

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[1] The weekday missal: A new edition (1995). London: HarperCollins Religious, p.1477.

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