The evangelist Mark was a traveling companion of Peter. He recorded Peter’s sermon and later wrote the Gospel of Mark. It is clear that Mark’s Gospel was written by a masterful storyteller. Though short, this Gospel has great impact and meaning. The point of the writing was to win souls for Christ and the kingdom of God. Mark understood the work of an evangelist. In the opening of his Gospel he gets right to the point:
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” (Mark 1:9-15)
Right from the beginning Mark makes it clear that disciples of Jesus must repent of their sins and believe that God has received them into His kingdom. Repent and believe, these are key ingredients to the Gospel. Mark was willing to risk everything for the sake of telling the Gospel message. Ultimately, he paid the price with his life. What are we willing to risk today?
Jesus said to the apostles, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-20)
Are we prepared to join St. Mark? What will the Lord say about our feet?
- How beautiful upon the mountains
- are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
- who brings good news,
- who announces salvation,
- who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
- Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
- together they sing for joy;
- for in plain sight they see
- the return of the LORD to Zion.
- Break forth together into singing,
- you ruins of Jerusalem;
- for the LORD has comforted his people,
- he has redeemed Jerusalem.
- The LORD has bared his holy arm
- before the eyes of all the nations;
- and all the ends of the earth shall see
- the salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:7-10)