Saturday, April 25, 2015
St. Mark, Evangelist
1st Reading: 1 P 5:5b–14
Gospel: Mk 16:15–20s
Jesus told his disciples, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; the one who refuses to believe will be condemned. Signs like these will accompany those who have believed: in my Name they will cast out demons and speak new languages; they will pick up snakes and, if they drink anything poisonous, they will be unharmed. They will lay their hands on the sick and they will be healed.”
“So then, after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and took his place at the right hand of God. The Eleven went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs which accompanied them.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Because people embrace hard truths through evidences that are unimpeachable, Jesus gave each disciple extraordinary powers to evangelize all people. He gave them powers to heal, to cast out demons and even to take poisonous drink unharmed, so that they may establish their authority on powers that could only come from God.
None among us today can perform these powers with credibility. Yet the mission to evangelize is handed down to us to exercise with the same alacrity. Spectacular powers were indispensable then, but no longer now because the Church is already well established from within. We can trace our history back to Jesus through the hierarchy; there is no need to establish our identity as evangelizers through the extraordinary. What is needed is witnessing to the words that we say. May our preaching stand solidly on concrete acts of charity!
This is not to discard miraculous powers as irrelevant. Such powers, if available, can convert the defiant. Miraculous healers are marvelous to behold; they bring back a lot of people to God’s fold. There is danger, however, with most miracles; they attract instant adherers from curious peoples. Like anything instant, depth is wanting and their hearts remain distant.
A priest newly assigned to a parish quite remote had this story of a crying statue to promote. A fellow priest remarked in jest hoping he’d desist: “the statue is just missing the former parish priest.” Attendance at Mass was high as many people wanted to see the statue cry. When the euphoria subsided, the attendance graph at Mass also glided.
Let us perform our duty to evangelize all peoples even without the power to perform miracles. Greater is the miracle really if people know we are the first doers of what we say. The spectacular may generate faith but cannot sustain it. Let’s go for a life of charity so people can feel it. When they do, faith in them will grow even stronger than the spectacular can brew. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: email@example.com. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, grant us the grace to become credible witnesses to the world by our concrete works of charity. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Mark, the 2nd Evangelist, was the son of a certain Mary and the cousin of Barnabas. He was probably converted to Christianity by St. Peter, and his house in Jerusalem served as the, meeting place for Christians in the time of persecution (Acts 12:12). During the 1st missionary journey, Barnabas and Mark sailed to Cyprus. Thereafter, Mark acted as secretary and interpreter of Peter, who used to call him son (1Peter 5:13). Mark accompanied Peter to Rome, where he also reconciled with Paul, who was taken there as a prisoner. According to tradition, Mark wrote the Gospel, basing it on Peter’s teachings. Having finished it, he went to Alexandria in Egypt, where he preached the Gospel and founded the church. Afterwards, he was arrested for his faith in Christ and tortured.