CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 25, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 16:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it 6e19ab4b265bb67ac611d392af643f38_w600will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Today the Church celebrates the memory of Mark the Evangelist with a resurrection account from Mark’s gospel. The passage is Jesus’ commissioning of his disciples at the time of his ascension. It is a promise of Jesus’ fidelity to his church which, at the moment of his translation to the right of the Father, receives the mission which Jesus had carried out during his life. Like Jesus did, the Church tells the good news, inspires faith, draws people in, heals the sick, soothes the tormented, and carries the wonder of life in God.

Saint of the day: Mark the Evangelist is the traditional author of the Gospel of Mark. He is one of the Seventy Disciples, and the founder of the Church of Alexandria, one of the original four main episcopal sees of Christianity. An unbroken tradition identifies Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, and John Mark as the cousin of Barnabas. An exception is found in Hippolytus of Rome, who in his work On the Seventy Apostles, distinguishes Mark the Evangelist (2 Tim 4:11), John Mark (Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37), and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10; saint-mark-the-evangelist-14_0Phlm 24). According to Hippolytus, they all belonged to the “Seventy Disciples” who were sent out by Jesus to saturate Judea with the gospel (Luke 10:1ff.). However, when Jesus explained that his flesh was “real food” and his blood was “real drink”, many disciples left him (John 6:44-6:66), presumably including Mark. He was later restored to faith by the apostle Peter; he then became Peter’s interpreter, wrote the Gospel of Mark, founded the church of Africa, and became the bishop of Alexandria.

According to Eusebius of Caesarea (Eccl. Hist. 2.9.1-4), Herod Agrippa I in his first year of reign over the whole Judea (AD 41) killed James, son of Zebedee and arrested Peter, planning to kill him after the Passover. Peter was saved miraculously by angels, and escaped out of the realm of Herod (Acts 12:1-19). Peter went to Antioch, then through Asia Minor (visiting the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, as mentioned in 1 Pet 1:1), and arrived in Rome in the second year of Emperor Claudius (AD 42; Eusebius, Eccl, Hist. 2.14.6). Somewhere on the way, Peter picked up Mark and took him as travel companion and interpreter. Mark the Evangelist wrote down the sermons of Peter, thus composing the Gospel according to Mark (Eccl. Hist. 15-16), before he left for Alexandria in the third year of Claudius (43).

In AD 49, about 19 years after the Ascension of Jesus, Mark traveled to Alexandria [cf. Acts 15:36-41] and founded the Church of Alexandria, which today is part of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Aspects of the Coptic liturgy can be traced back to Mark himself. He became the first bishop of Alexandria and he is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa.

CAP_8652~The-Way-Home-PostersAccording to Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. 2.24.1), Mark was succeeded by Annianus as the bishop of Alexandria in the eighth year of Nero (62/63), probably, but not definitely, due to his coming death. Later Coptic tradition says that he was martyred in 68. It is believed that on the night when Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane Mark had followed him there and the Temple guards saw him, he ran away and dropped his loincloth. His symbol is the Winged lion

Spiritual reading: There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation. (Madeleine L’Engle)

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