Lifelong CatechesisForming Catholic identity across generations
The sound of Alleluias fills the 50 days of Easter Sunday to Pentecost as we give thanks for the gift of our salvation. The Easter Triduum recalls the passion and resurrection of Christ in the sacred journey from Holy Thursday to Easter Vigil. "Dying he destroyed our death. Rising he restored our life."
Mark, Evangelist, d. c. 74
Mark’s Gospel is very likely the first one written (sometime between 60 and 70 while in Rome) and is the shortest of the four. He often goes into much more detail in describing Jesus' ministry than the other evangelists.
Mark apparently was writing for Gentiles who were unfamiliar with Jewish customs. Mark is not mentioned in any of the Gospels, though he may have been referring to himself when he wrote of the young man who attempted to follow Jesus after his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:51-52). Modern biblical scholars believe that Mark's Gospel provided Matthew and Luke with a common source for their Gospels.
In the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Peter and Paul, Mark is mentioned several times. He was the son of Mary at whose house in Jerusalem Peter and the other Apostles stayed. He was a cousin of Barnabas. He accompanied Paul and Barnabas on Paul's first missionary journey, and he was with Paul in Rome during Paul's first imprisonment. Mark was evidently a disciple of Peter who refers to him as "Mark, my son." An early, though uncertain, tradition about Mark is that he was the first bishop of Alexandria.
Saint Mark is the patron saint of Venice. This city claims that his body was brought from Alexandria to Venice, where it now lies in Saint Mark's Cathedral. He is also the patron of notaries. We celebrate the feast day of this Evangelist on April 25.
Mark’s message today: Imagine telling the story of Jesus’ life to people who have never heard it before. Some of today’s evangelists are the teachers of faith formation who tell Jesus’ story to children.