Feast of St. Mark

In celebrating the evangelist St. Mark, we are celebrating the first announcement of the Good News. St. Mark states openly at the beginning of his gospel that Jesus is the Son of God and thus divine.  What follows is an answer to the essential question Mark poses in the 4th chapter: “Who then is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” 

When a person answers this question, he or she discovers why this Jesus of Nazareth is important, what difference He makes. If it is really good news, it should make a difference…a BIG difference. And that difference is experienced personally.

The personally experienced difference begins with ones encounter with the wind and the sea; in other words, with what cannot be controlled and with one’s vulnerability to the uncontrollable. It leads to a sense of hopelessness and futility. We want to control what makes a difference and Mark’s Jesus tells us ‘that difference is not important.’ It’s too short-term. This is the context and occasion for experiencing Jesus Christ as Savior, as one who loves, i. e., seeks ones good, in spite of oneself. And that discovery makes the greatest difference of all!  It becomes not just important, but it becomes what matters most. And when we know what matters most we want to know how to relate to it, how to center our lives on it. Mark’s Jesus tells us, “Repent and believe in the good news!” And how we do that is the other part of His “good news.”

He taught us, as a people, principles, our principles, that we are to each put before one’s own personality, one’s own scheme of importance.  Learning and reflecting on that good news, it becomes the light by which one then develops a way of life to stay in relationship to this Savior.

Answering Mark’s essential question comes down to this: First the heat, then the light.