St Mark the Evangelist – 25th April

April 20, 2018

We have four gospels that the Church tells us are authentic records of the doings and sayings of Christ. Other gospels exist (such as the ones that I suspect Pullman bases his book on) but the Church has always ruled them out as inauthentic and misleading.

One of the authentic gospels is that written by the saint we celebrate on Wednesday, Mark.

Mark’s gospel is the plainest of the four. He is no great stylist, and the language he uses is stark and simple. He is also not flattering to the apostles who are depicted as slow on the uptake and slow to believe. The core of Mark’s message is the same as the other gospel writers however. Jesus is the one sent by God, who was crucified and is now risen from the dead. Through him we are saved.

What is startling when we read all the gospels together is not that they are different in style and tell the story in different ways but rather the story they tell. They are convinced, as Mark states in his opening lines, that here is good news.

Our task is to put that good news on the page into practice in our lives. The world has grown tired and cynical about preachers and teachers but the people of our generation will be convinced when they see us living out the good news in our lives.

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Easter Reflection

April 11, 2018

The Church’s joy in the resurrection is boundless because it is at the very heart of all that it does. Every celebration of the sacraments, every good deed, every preaching of the word is because of the power of the resurrection.

In the liturgical year while Lent lasts for forty days, Eastertide lasts for fifty. During that period the new life that Jesus won for us, and what it now makes possible, are presented for our contemplation. We hear the accounts of the resurrection appearances but we also hear of the transformative effect these encounters had on the disciples. As we go through Eastertide the Sunday liturgy makes clear to us what the resurrection means.

As we celebrate the feasts of the saints during this period we are also made aware that their strength and power comes from the resurrection. They were faithful to the risen Lord and filled with his life. Those who were, and are, called to martyrdom could do so because they believed in the resurrection. Their deaths are another sign of the risen life of Christ at work in the church.

Let us pray that as we journey through Eastertide we may become more aware of what the resurrection means for us in our lives today.