Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection April 25, 2024


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R/. I will sing forever of your mercies, O Lord.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. We preach Christ crucified; the power of God and the wisdom of God

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: [Appearing to Eleven,] Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.

1.      Today on 25 April we celebrate the feast of St Mark. He is one of the four evangelists. He was a close associate of Peter. He acted as Peter’s scribe and recorded his teaching and preaching in his gospel. He accompanied Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey. Though not a direct disciple of Jesus, surely he knew Jesus and all the more confirmed by Peter.

2.      He worked for the spread of the faith. He is known to have founded the church at Alexandria. He was martyred by pagans who tied a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets until he died.

3.      Mark’s gospel forms the basis for both Matthew and Luke. He is not concerned about the details but centres on one’s personal choice to act. “Immediately” is a frequent characteristic expression in Mark. This is not a mere technical expression. Rather it shows the sense of urgency of the mission.  In the mission of the Lord, there is no time to waste. There must be “haste and promptness”.

4.      Mark presents Jesus as the “Lion of Judah”. This is in contrast to the devil, the “roaring lion” in the first reading from 1 Peter. The first lion rescues and saves from harm and death. The second lion devours and destroys. The purpose of Mark’s gospel is exactly the purpose of God’s call, stated in the first reading. It is to “restore, confirm, strengthen in faith and establish us in eternal glory”.

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