Monday April 15,2019

Previous Reflection

Acts 6:8-15   Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30   John 6:22-29

22 On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 However, boats from Tiber'i-as came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Caper'na-um, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" 26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal." 28 Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."

The day’s gospel is the continuation of the two initial sign of chapter six. Determined not to lose touch with him, the crowds made shift on the next day to follow him the other side of the lake. But Christ was not impressed by the eager enthusiasm and here he emerges a multi needed lesson. Too many today give the impression that to them numbers and popularity and the like are all important and sufficient in themselves. But it is not.
     They said to him “What must we do to do the work of God?” The central indeed a tremendous question. Then Jesus answered them, this is the work of God that you believe in him whom he has sent always and everywhere a man’s belief color and shapes his personality. Today Jesus cautions us against missing out on what is truly worth asking for? “Work then not for perishable food but for the lasting food that gives eternal life” Let us not be satisfied with the many tangible gifts. Our God gives us instead. Let us continuously pray and work for the greatest of gifts, the very person of God as our inheritance.
April 25, St.Mark the Evangelist

                In traditional iconography, St Mark is depicted as the winged lion. His gospel starts with John the Baptist as the “voice of one crying out in the wilderness” and Mark portrays Jesus as wielding immense power and spiritual authority. He is aptly called the interpreter of Peter and the Fathers call the Gospel according to mark as “Peter’s Gospel.” This is particularly clear in Marks’ portrayal of nuances in the Gospel which could only have been recounted by a keen observer who was with Jesus while the events occurred. So there is an impression of an eye witness left in the Marcan Gospel. The Gospel according to Mark offers a gradually unfurling insight into what true discipleship in Christ is. That is not a conviction based on telltale of flimsy observations but a deeper participation in the example of self-sacrificing love of Christ.

Mark was an eminent preacher of the Gospel and is said to have founded the Church in Aquiliea and later in Alexandria. The Christian perception in Alexandria propagated by disciples of Mark was very much rooted in piety and asceticism, so much so that St.Jerome calls Mark as the father of anchorites that once flourished in the Egyptian deserts. Many of the illustrious sons of the Church and defenders of Faith were cradled in the schools of Alexandria. Mark suffered a martyr’s death in AD 68 and his remains are enshrined in the Basilica in Venice named after him.

The first reading from the epistle of Peter sheds light on the nature of Peter’s faith which was strapped on to humility, courage and constant watch. The inadequacies and failings one may encounter can be no bar on the taste of heavenly grace that awaits one. Later when Peter goes on to call Mark as his spiritual progeny, heavily condensed in his address “my son Mark,” attention is drawn to Mark’s schooling and his solid and spotless understanding of Christian discipleship.

The gospel pins us to the locus of Ascension, where enlivened and emboldened by the commission to go forth and proclaim the gospel we are ready to take off to the corners of the world. We are projected into a realm of unlimited spiritual prowess and authority that once characterized the ministry of Jesus on earth. Whatever was once of Jesus is hereafter ours too and if only we would listen. This day by the example of Mark and his moorings we are reminded of the audacity of Christian calling. We are vested with immense power to change the world by words and deeds, just as Mark was a mark ahead as an Evangelist and a missionary par excellence.
Bro. Jayanth