Jesus is pretty firm on this command:Proclaim the Gospel


Like all Christians, Mark was repeatedly called to humble himself. Mark accepted some of those calls. As Mark humbled himself, the Lord showed great kindness to him. The Lord promised: “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted”. In Mark’s humility, the Lord exalted him by choosing him to compose one of the Gospels. The Lord even made Mark a canonized saint, internationally recognized for centuries as a model disciple. Even churches and cities are named after Mark. The Lord continues to work through Mark’s intercession and ministry in an amazing way.

Among the four gospels, Mark’s account is unique in many ways. It is the shortest account and seems to be the earliest. Mark the Evangelist was an associate of Peter and likely wrote his gospel in Rome where Peter was based. It is significant that Mark, as well as Luke, was chosen by the Holy Spirit to write the gospel account even though he wasn’t one of the twelve apostles. Augustine of Hippo, explains: “The Holy Spirit willed to choose for the writing of the Gospel two [Mark and Luke] who were not even from those who made up the Twelve, so that it might not be thought that the grace of evangelization had come only to the apostles and that in them the fountain of grace had dried up”.

Proclaim the Gospel. Jesus is pretty firm on this command. Sometimes I wonder why. If I have Christ in my heart, what is the big deal about him being in someone else’s heart? If I have a good relationship with Christ, why is it important to share that? Evangelism is way outside my comfort zone. Can’t it just be Jesus and me? Jesus says no. We must never forget that we are in the midst of an ongoing spiritual battle! For that reason, we must remain “sober and vigilant,” as today’s first reading tells us. Who are we fighting? “Your opponent the Devil,” Peter tells us, “is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Our battle is with the Devil, and we get our “marching orders” clearly in the next verse: “Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.” So there it is – we are to resist the Devil, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, and take heart that we are not alone. Throughout the world, in many countries today, Christians are undergoing much suffering. We must support each other in prayer, and always remember that after we have “suffered a little,” “God . . . will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

As Blessed John Paul II would say, “Don’t be afraid!” Remember, we are on the winning side of this battle! Let us fight it well, with the sword of the Spirit and the armor of God!

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