Who was St. Mark the Evangelist? He is known as one of the four evangelists and author of the Gospel according to Mark, but scripture and tradition tells us much more about his life and endeavors.
“All through the New Testament, he’s peppered in here and there. He doesn’t stand out as a primary character, but when you dig in and look for him and his life, it’s a story of conversion, betrayal, and redemption,” explains Steve Ray, Catholic convert, author, and evangelist. While known for his apostolic zeal, the Bible documents that he also caused some problems. During one of the great missionary journeys documented in the Acts of the Apostles, he abandoned Paul and Barnabas in Pamphilia and returned to Jerusalem, which caused a great division between Paul and Barnabas.
“Mark was also the secretary for Saint Peter. When we read the Gospel of Mark, it is the words of Saint Peter. Peter preached this gospel in Rome and Mark wrote it down so that we’d all have a copy of it 2000 years later,” says Ray.
What can we learn from Mark? “When we use the word evangelize … we think of standing on a street corner and sharing our Faith, but the truth is that for most of us, the greatest opportunities to evangelization are going to come within our own home,” says Lisa Hendey, founder and editor of CatholicMom.com.
“In the average family there’s brokenness, frustration, and things that need an influx of faith.” We can look to St. Mark’s story of redemption and faith as an example that no matter how difficult things get, we shouldn’t give up spreading the Good News.
Living like St. Mark, says Hendey, means “we’re in tune enough to what’s happening in the world around us to always be ready to jump in and be the love of Christ to people who really need it.”