Liturgical Colour : Red (Apostles and Evangelists)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast day of one of the Four Great Evangelists, the four writers of the Holy Gospels. Today is the feast of St. Mark, one of the important Apostles of Jesus, who went with St. Paul in his travels of preaching the faith, and eventually founded the See of Alexandria in Egypt, now known as the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which can trace their founding from St. Mark himself.
The significance of this day cannot be separated from what we heard from the Gospel, which highlighted the very important mission which Christ had placed on our shoulders, which He entrusted to all those who have placed their trust in Him. This mission is for us to preach the Good News to all the peoples all around the world, all the way to the ends of the earth.
This mission calls us to evangelise the Gospels to those who have yet to hear the Word of God and the Good News, so that all of them may hear them and be saved as well. We cannot deny this mission nor can we ignore it, for it is this mission has been entrusted to all of us who have been baptised in the Name of our Lord. And this mission continues even to this day, as all of us still have the need to proclaim the word of God’s salvation to all the peoples.
Had the Apostles kept to themselves and did not proclaim the salvation in Jesus Christ because they were afraid of all those who were out to persecute them, then there would have been no Church, and at least not the Church that we know of and are accustomed to. All of the greatness of the Church, in terms of its reach and works, are all possible because of the courageous acts and deeds of the Holy Apostles and disciples who braved even death and destruction to bring about salvation to all peoples.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are all called to walk in the footsteps of the Apostles and all the holy saints, that we may also be able to carry the cross of Christ, by becoming His mouthpiece and witnesses to all the nations. Now the question is if we are ready to bear that cross and do what we are expected to do as the members of God’s Church and as the partakers of the Lord’s work of mercy and salvation of all mankind.
St. Mark had written all these testimonies, so that all of us may be aware of what our faith truly is, and how we ought to live it out faithfully and not just with empty proclamations. Therefore, similarly, we too should also heed it through real and concrete actions, to show that we truly belong to the Lord our God. As in our first reading today, St. Peter exhorted the faithful to don the vest of humility as part of their lives, and be sober and alert against the temptations and corruptions of the devil. This shows us that we must indeed be devoted to the Lord via real and genuine love, and not just with empty faith.
There are many temptations in this world, brothers and sisters, and very often, these have taken their toll on us, by turning us in rebellion against God and by turning our hearts and eyes away from His truth and His ways, and we rather follow our own way. This is the great trouble that is facing our world today, and there is something indeed which we can do in order to make it better.
Can we make use of this great opportunity, which God offers us daily, so that we may wholeheartedly change our ways and abandon our ways of sin and disobedience, and become better disciples of our Lord. Remember, brethren, that people will likely only believe in us and in whatever we preach to them, if we have practiced what we preached in our own actions and deeds.
May Almighty God give us courage and strength, the wisdom and the eloquence of speech, as well as a faithful heart and devoted mind, so that we may, by our examples, lead many more people and save more souls through the same salvation which our Lord Jesus Christ offered us freely for our forgiveness. God bless us all and may He help to keep us safe. Amen.