Today’s readings can be found here.
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist. He’s the author of one of the four Gospels in the canonical New Testament. Mark himself does not appear in the Gospels. He was not one of the 12 Apostles, so who is this Mark?
Our first reading today confirms for us that Mark was indeed a companion of Peter. He traveled with Peter to Rome and helped to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The gospel of Mark was the first to be written, for that reason it is also the shortest of the four gospels. Mark wrote the Gospel for a gentile audience. Traditionally it has been held that he wrote the gospel in Rome, many modern scholars agree, though some suggest Alexandria as another potential location. Knowing some of these details can help us to better understand the text and what the author is trying to convey.
What is the lesson for us? While Mark was not one of the 12 Apostles, he chose to spend time with Peter, who helped him to grow as a person, in his relationship with Christ and to do great things through the writing of the Gospel. He wasn’t “famous in his own right,” but he surrounded himself with greatness. The question for us is, “Who are our friends? Who are we surrounding ourselves with? Will they lead me to holiness?”