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MARK, EVANGELIST ( FEAST ) Apr 25

1 Peter 5:5-14 / Mark 16:15-20
Jesus instructs his disciples: “Proclaim the good news. ”

Penn State’s D. J. Dozier knelt and prayed after scoring in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. Dozier’s action touched off instant criticism. Coming to Dozier’s defense, R. D. Lashar, place kicker for the state champion Plano High School Wildcats, said, “Before and after each place kick, I kneel and pray. The day someone tells me I can’t pray is the day I don’t play! It’s a free country.” Sports fan Mark Roberts wrote, “Personally, I find it refreshing to see someone, do something besides a silly dance and parading around, flaunting an oversized ego.”
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How we witness to the Gospel is one thing; that we must witness to it is another. How do we, personally, witness to the Gospel? “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one.” Edgar A. Guest
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St Mark was not one the 12 Apostles. Known as John Mark who is mentioned in the 1st reading, he was a cousin of Barnabas, and he also accompanied St. Paul in his missionary journeys and he also worked closely with St. Peter in Rome.

So though St. Mark was not an "Apostle" (as in being one the chosen Twelve) he wrote an account which became known as the "Gospel according to St. Mark. When we read that gospel, we also get an idea of the person of St Mark and what he thought of Jesus.

He does not focus on the lengthy teachings of Jesus (the gospel has only 16 chapters) but more on the deeds of Jesus and His power over evil and sickness. As we heard in today's gospel which is from St. Mark, the emphasis is on the "signs" that Jesus had worked in His ministry and Jesus expected those signs to be continued in His disciples. And those signs are indeed spectacular - cast out devils; gift of tongues; picking up snakes; unharmed by deadly poison; laying hands on the sick who will recover.

These are not only what Jesus did, but what His disciples did too as they went off to preach the Good News and these signs are associated with them. And it was the underlying expectation of St. Mark that Christians in every age and time would work these signs and wonders so as to bring people to the faith.

So if these signs are not associated with us in this age and time, then what can the problem be? Is it a lack of faith, or doubt? Or as Jesus puts it - "In my name they will ... "

Are we doing it in the name of Jesus, or are we doing it to make a name for ourselves.

May all we say and do be in the name of Jesus, may we come to know Jesus as St. Mark did, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.
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LITURGY

Introduction
A disciple of Peter, Mark writes in simple words how with Jesus came the time of salvation and repentance. He shows Jesus both as the Son of God and the Son of Man, whose life led to his death, but who revealed himself fully in the resurrection. The disciple must follow his master

Penitential Rite
-As you teach us humility in making us your disciples, LHM
-As you empower us in sending us as your apostles, CHM
-As you remind us of your mission when we miss the way, LHM

Opening Prayer
Lord our God, there is much in us that obscures your word and keeps us from being truly your Church. We pray you today: Call us, as once you called Mark, to speak and live your word. Inspire us through your Spirit and teach us to live in the hope that your kingdom will come and remain among us through Jesus Christ, our Lord, now and for ever.

General Intercessions
- For all who speak the word of God, that they themselves may be filled with it and out of this fullness proclaim it with conviction and warmth, we pray:
- For all who hear the word of God, that they may receive and treasure it in their hearts and bear fruits of goodness and peace, we pray:
- For those who do not yet know Jesus Christ, God's living Word and image, that the lives of many convinced Christians may open their eyes to Jesus, the true light who came among people, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God, you invite us to gather around your Son, that he may share himself with us in the signs of bread and wine. May he also share his Spirit with us, to speak his word and to become to all those around us signs of your goodness and peace, that people may praise your name through Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God, accept our thanks for making known to us how good and inspiring your Son is. May we bring something of his goodness and his good news in the world of today and may the way we live be part of this message. We ask you this through Christ our Lord.
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Commentary
The word “humility” is sometimes confused with being weak. In the Christian sense, humility deals with an attitude of modesty, selflessness, gentleness, grace, meekness and forbearance. Humility in this sense is one of the virtues most pleasing to God.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, O Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, O Jesus.

“Lord Jesus, through the gift of your Holy Spirit, you fill us with an indomitable spirit of praise and joy which no earthly trial can subdue. Fill me with your resurrection joy and help me to live a life of praise and thanksgiving for your glory. May I witness to those around me the joy of the gospel and the reality of your resurrection.”