“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time.
Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” (1 Pt 5:6-7)
The disciples certainly knew this scripture well.
Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Mark. Mark is one of the evangelists, providing us with the Gospel According to Mark. The Gospel of Mark was probably written for Gentile converts in Rome. Most likely, it was written after the death of Peter and Paul sometime between the years 60 and 70.
Mark’s Gospel highlighted the grandest scandal of all, a crucified Messiah.
We know that there is much treachery in the world. It is focused against the Lord and against His teachings. Furthermore, it is focused against His present-day disciples. Anyone who is a believer is at risk. That is why the First Letter of Peter not only encourages the followers of the Lord to humility, it also admonishes them:
Be sober and vigilant.
Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, steadfast in faith,
knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world
undergo the same sufferings.
It IS good to know that we are not alone. There IS strength in numbers. Even if we are to be beset upon, to know that we do not suffer for the sake of Christ alone can bring great comfort.
If we remain humble, we allow God to use us.
If God uses us, anything is possible.
Jesus reminds us of that in today’s Gospel when He speaks to his Apostles right before His ascension into heaven:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
God is waiting to perform great signs and wonders, even in our day and age. Since His Son has gone to heaven to prepare a place for us, it is up to us to cooperate by using the gifts that God has given to us. God gave St. Mark the wisdom of using words to bring the story of Jesus to a world that needed to hear about Him.
What gifts has God given to you?
FAITH ACTION: Take some time in private prayer. Reflect upon the gifts that God has given to you, both material as well as spiritual. Take out a paper and pen or pencil and write down the many gifts that you have received. After you are finished, make another list. This time write down the gifts that you have received which you, in turn, use to help God’s people. Is that second list too short? Make a decision to add one of your gifts to that second list today.