Thoughts for the Day

Thursday, 25th April 2024: Mark the Evangelist

Mark 13 Evangelist Saint Mark

Reading : Verses from Mark, Chapter 13

St Mark

Then Jesus began to say to them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.

‘As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


'John Mark was a Jew, and according to Paul's letter to the Colossians, was cousin to Barnabas. He accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their First Missionary Journey. Afterwards, he went to Cyprus with Barnabas and to Rome, with first Paul and then Peter. Mark's Gospel is generally regarded as the earliest and was most likely written whilst he was in Rome. It was probably based as much on Peter's preaching of the good news as on Mark's own memory. Mark's gospel has a sharpness and an immediacy about it and he does not spare the apostles in noting their weaknesses and lack of understanding that Jesus the Christ would suffer for the world's redemption. Sharing in the glory of the resurrection means sharing in the giving of self, both in body and spirit, even to death; sharing the gospel was, for all, in essence both excessively generous and ultimately a sacrifice.'

(Above is from 'Exciting Holiness, Collects and Readings for Festivals').

Today we celebrate the life of a man that we may not know much about, but if we don't know much about him, we do have a unique document in his Gospel. Mark gives us Jesus as he is: Jesus gets tired, he is hungry, and it is this Jesus who takes a child into his arms. Mark is not afraid to call Jesus a 'carpenter'. Again and again he inserts tiny visual details that the other Gospels do not include. Having said this the evangelist never forgets the divine side of Jesus. He starts his work by announcing: "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God". He also continually uses words that describe how the onlookers see Jesus. The witnesses are "astonished", "amazed", and "in awe" of the work of Jesus. For Mark Jesus is both a man among men, but also God among men.



Almighty God,
who enlightened your holy Church
through the inspired witness
of Your Evangelist Saint Mark:
grant that we, being firmly grounded
in the truth of the Gospel,
may be faithful to its teaching
both in word and deed;
through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look up these sites:

Or this interesting "whiteboard talk":

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