Monday, April 25, 2016

Liturgical Year C, Cycle II

First Reading: 1 Peter 5:5-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
Gospel: Mark 16:15-20

The Joyful Mysteries

First Reading:  1 Peter 5:5-14

5 In like manner, ye young men, be subject to the ancients. And do you all insinuate humility one to another, for God resisteth the proud, but to the humble he giveth grace.

6 Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation:

7 Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you.

8 Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.

9 Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world.

10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you.

11 To him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings and Benediction

12 By Sylvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I think, I have written briefly: beseeching and testifying that this is the true grace of God, wherein you stand.

13 The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you: and so doth my son Mark.

14 Salute one another with a holy kiss. Grace be to all you, who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17

God’s Covenant with David

2 The mercies of the Lord I will sing for ever. I will shew forth thy truth with my mouth to generation and generation.

3 For thou hast said: Mercy shall be built up for ever in the heavens: thy truth shall be prepared in them.

6 The heavens shall confess thy wonders, O Lord: and thy truth in the church of the saints.

7 For who in the clouds can be compared to the Lord: or who among the sons of God shall be like to God?

16 Blessed is the people that knoweth jubilation. They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance:

17 And in thy name they shall rejoice all the day, and in thy justice they shall be exalted.

Gospel: Mark 16:15-20

The New Commandment

15 And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues.

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.

19 And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God.

20 But they going forth preached everywhere: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation"

 In many churches in the East and West, Mark the Evangelist is honored today. Each of the four gospel accounts gives us a portrait of Jesus, his life, mission, and teaching. Each is different in style, length, and emphasis. But they all have a common thread and purpose – the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Among the four gospels, Mark's account is unique in many ways. It is the shortest account and seems to be the earliest. Mark the Evangelist was an associate of Peter and likely wrote his gospel in Rome where Peter was based. Mark wrote it in Greek. It was likely written for Gentile readers in general, and for the Christians at Rome in particular. It is significant that Mark, as well as Luke, was chosen by the Holy Spirit to write the gospel account even though he wasn't one of the twelve apostles. Augustine of Hippo, explains:  "The Holy Spirit willed to choose for the writing of the Gospel two [Mark and Luke] who were not even from those who made up the Twelve, so that it might not be thought that the grace of evangelization had come only to the apostles and that in them the fountain of grace had dried up" (Sermon 239.1).

Mark ends his gospel account with Jesus' last appearance to the apostles before his ascension into heaven. Jesus' departure and ascension was both an end and a beginning for his disciples. While it was the end of Jesus' physical presence with his beloved disciples, it marked the beginning of Jesus' presence with them in a new way. Jesus promised that he would be with them always to the end of time. Now as the glorified and risen Lord and Savior, ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus promised to send them the Holy Spirit who would anoint them with power on the Feast of Pentecost, just as Jesus was anointed for his ministry at the River Jordan. When the Lord Jesus departed physically from the apostles, they were not left in sorrow or grief.  Instead, they were filled with joy and with great anticipation for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus' last words to his apostles point to his saving mission and to their mission to be witnesses of his saving death and his glorious resurrection and to proclaim the good news of salvation to all the world. Their task is to proclaim the good news of salvation, not only to the people of Israel, but to all the nations. God's love and gift of salvation is not just for a few, or for a nation, but it is for the whole world – for all who will accept it. The gospel is the power of God, the power to forgive sins, to heal, to deliver from evil and oppression, and to restore life. Do you believe in the power of the gospel?

 This is the great commission which the risen Christ gives to the whole church. All believers have been given a share in this task – to be heralds of the good news and ambassadors for Jesus Christ, the only savior of the world. We have not been left alone in this task, for the risen Lord works in and through us by the power of his Holy Spirit. Today we witness a new Pentecost as the Lord pours out his Holy Spirit upon his people to renew and strengthen the body of Christ and to equip it for effective ministry and mission world-wide. Do you witness to others the joy of the gospel and the hope of the resurrection?

“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.”

Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

Today is the feast day of St. Mark, the Evangelist, the author of the second Gospel.  Mark was young when Jesus was crucified and resurrected and probably never met Jesus in the flesh.

But he was obviously gifted and tasked with writing a Gospel directed to Gentile converts.

The first reading today stresses the need for humility.    This is something that I (and I suspect many others) struggle with.

It surely must have been a humbling task to write a Gospel recounting both the humanity and divinity of Christ.  Whenever I read Mark’s Gospel, I am always struck with the clarity and concision of his writing.

We are all good at something.  It’s no sin to assess one’s strengths and take on tasks best suited to them in order to help build God’s kingdom on Earth.  But true humility is recognizing that those strengths are not are own, but are given to us by God and to be used for God’s purposes.

by Pat Borchers
Creighton University's School of Law
click here for photo and information about the writer


Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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