Inside and Out
St. Mark, Evangelist
1 Peter 5:5b-14; Mark 16:15-20
It’s somewhat ironic that the consensus among scripture scholars is that gospel passage chosen for today’s Mass was very likely not written by Mark but by a later disciple who was familiar with his style. It is redolent of a time when copyright didn’t exist, and ideas of authorship were more fluid than they are today.
Following the resurrection, Jesus commissioned the Eleven to be evangelists, and he assured them that believers would reveal divine power and salvation in their midst spectacular signs—driving out demons, handling deadly snakes and drinking poison—that probably should have come with a caution: “Don’t try this at home.”
That list, however, also reminds us that the external signs of God’s power at work in us are also manifestations of interior qualities like those that Peter mentions in today’s first reading: humility, sobriety, vigilance, resistance to the devil and sin, steadfastness in faith and the capacity to endure suffering.
Lord Jesus, continue to be with us and work in us—inside and out.—JC