One Minute Reflection – 25 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:5-14, Psalm 89(88):2-3,6-7,16-17, Mark 16:15-20 and the Memorial of St Mark the Evangelist and St Pedro de San Jose de Betancur OFB (1626-1667) “St Francis of Assisi of the Americas”
Jesus said to the Eleven, “go out to the whole world and the proclaim the gospel to all creation.”…Mark 16:15
REFLECTION – “Lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees” (Heb 12:12; Is 35:3). The chief points of Saint Mark’s history are these—first, that he was … taken with Saint Barnabus and Saint Paul on their first apostolic journey; next, that after a short time he deserted them and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 15:38); then, that after an interval, he was Saint Peter’s assistant at Rome (1 Pt 5:13) and composed his Gospel there principally from the accounts which he received from that Apostle; lastly, that he was sent by Peter to Alexandria, in Egypt, …. here he proved himself, not merely an ordinary Christian but a most resolute and exact servant of God, founding and ruling that strictest Church of Alexandria … And the instrument of this change was, as it appears the influence of Saint Peter, a fit restorer of a timid and backsliding disciple.
The encouragement which we drive from these circumstances in St Mark’s history is, that the feeblest among us, may, through God’s grace become strong.
And the warning to be drawn from it is, to distrust ourselves and again, not to despise weak brethren, or to despair of them but to bear their burdens and help them forward if so be, we may restore them.” …
The history of Moses supplies us with an instance of a proud and rash spirit, tamed down to an extreme gentleness of deportment … “the meekest of men on earth “ (Nb 12:3). St Mark’s history affords a specimen of the other and still rarer change, from timidity to boldness. … St Mark’s change, therefore, may be considered even more astonishing in its nature, than that of Moses. “By faith,” he was “out of weakness made strong,” (cf. Heb 11:34).” … St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) PPS, vol 2, no 16
PRAYER – Almighty God, You chose the Evangelist St Mark and ennobled him with grace, to preach the Gospel. Let his teaching so improve our lives and his prayers so support us, that we may walk faithfully in his footsteps, which are the footsteps of Christ our Lord. We beg too for the intercession of St Pedro de San Jose de Betancur (1626-1667), Your faithful servant. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.