Monday, April 25, 2016

A Homily on the Feast of Saint Mark

For the Feast of Saint Mark the Church chooses the command: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”  And for the Epistle she chooses the way how: “Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another…humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God…Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.”

And the truth is, my brothers, for everything that has been written about evangelization, new or old, it’s just that simple.

The effective apostle of the Gospel must clothe himself with humility, not just before God, but before everyone to whom he seeks to preach the truth.

Such humility is born in my relationship with God.  How can I possibly face the Creator of the universe than with a sense of my own littleness or the the one who hangs upon the Cross for love of me than with deep sorrow for my sins and my selfishness?

And in the effective preaching of such a Gospel I must maintain that same humility in imitation of the Word who was born in a manger and died on a cross.  As Pope Francis has said, “The style of evangelical preaching should be one of humility, service, charity and brotherly love [for] The Christian proclaims the Gospel with his life rather than his words.”  This do we carry the Gospel to others in the earthen vessels of our lives.

For the reality of all this humility, this sense that I am not in control, is that someone is in control, and that he cares for me as his adopted son, his beloved and his chosen.  Loves me as I am, ever ready to meet all of my needs.  He is the shepherd who leads me by still waters and refreshes my soul, the one who spreads a banquet before me and delivers me from the hands of my foes.

Which is why, as the final words of Mark’s Gospel predicts, I am humbled before the Lord and before every one to whom he sends me, to preach the Gospel by the manner of my life.