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Saturday, April 25, 2009

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St. Mark

1 Peter 5:5-14
Psalm 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
Mark 16:15-20

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forgiveness and greatness

"The church that is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, as does Mark my son. Greet one another with the embrace of true love. Peace." —1 Peter 5:13-14

John Mark quit the first missionary journey (Acts 13:13). It may have been the biggest mistake he'd ever made. When he realized his mistake, he asked Paul to give him a second chance and take him on the second mission. "But Paul insisted that, as he had deserted them at Pamphylia, refusing to join them on that mission, he was not fit to be taken along now" (Acts 15:38). Surely it hurt Mark to be called "unfit" for ministry (see Lk 9:62). Barnabas, Mark's cousin (Col 4:10), also took offense at Paul's evaluation of Mark. "The disagreement which ensued was so sharp that the two separated. Barnabas took Mark along with him and sailed for Cyprus" (Acts 15:39).

Paul and John Mark could have gone through life and even through death bitter and unforgiving toward each other. But the good news is that they reconciled. Paul later tells Timothy: "Get Mark and bring him with you, for he can be of great service to me" (2 Tm 4:11). Mark, once "unfit," is now considered "of great service."

Instead of bitterness and unforgiveness, Paul had a love for Mark which prompted him to command the Colossians to make Mark welcome (Col 4:10). Paul, the great missionary and apostle, and Mark, the earliest Gospel-writer, were among the most important people in human history. But this would never have happened if they hadn't forgiven each other.

Prayer:  Father, I decide to accept Your grace to forgive everyone for everything immediately.

Promise:  "The Lord continued to work with them throughout and confirm the message through the signs which accompanied them." —Mk 16:20

Praise:  St. Mark was called at a young age to do great things for Christ.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008

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