Given that Brian pointed out Wednesday morning that our readings this year will be from the Gospel According to St. Mark and my recommendation of the Catholic Study Bible, I though it would be a good idea to look up a few key points from the latter about the former.
- Shortest of the four Gospels
- Probably earliest of the four Gospels, written just before A.D 70, perhaps by John Mark who accompanied Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey described in Acts.
- Mark 1:1 is a title for the book: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (the Son of God).”
- No birth narrative; Begins with appearance of John the Baptist.
- Mark 1:14-15 about Jesus’s first proclamation after his temptation are identified as key verses: After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.
- Gospel of Mark is written with a sense of urgency. No long speeches but lots of teaching, preaching, healing, and casting out of demons, all in narrative form.
- Most ancient manuscripts do not include the resurrection appearances after Mark 16:8 (Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.) The Council of Trent, however, defined the verses after 16:8 as Canonical.
- Mark 8:29 (And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.”) is identified as a key focal point of the Gospel.
- There is some emphasis on inability of the disciples to understand His teaching. For example Mark 8:14-21.
- Major events in Chapter 1 of the Gospel:
- Baptism of Jesus (only three verses).
- Temptation of Jesus (only two verses).
- Arrival in Galilee and first proclamation of the Gospel (See item 5 above.)
- Call of first disciples to give up their fishing and become “fishers of men.” It’s good that the NABR retained this language instead of talking about “fishing for people.”
- Cure of a demoniac, resulting in fame throughout Galilee.
- Cure of Simon’s Mother in Law (who immediately starts serving).
- Begins traveling to villages (after morning prayer) to proclaim the Gospel
- Heals a leper (and tells him to keep his mouth shut)
Maybe those folks who memorize the Gospel of Mark begin with memorizing the list of events. But that is just in Chapter 1. So, there is a lot going on in the Gospel of Mark.
Question: Where is the stained glass window in St. Peter’s Church depicting St. Mark? Click HERE for answer.