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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of Saint Mark. He shared the responsibility of preaching the Gospel with Barnabas and Paul and then with Peter. He is the author of the first written Gospel.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Peter 5, 1-14

I urge the elders among you, as a fellow-elder myself and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and as one who is to have a share in the glory that is to be revealed:

give a shepherd's care to the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, as God wants; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it.

Do not lord it over the group which is in your charge, but be an example for the flock.

When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the unfading crown of glory.

In the same way, younger people, be subject to the elders. Humility towards one another must be the garment you all wear constantly, because God opposes the proud but accords his favour to the humble.

Bow down, then, before the power of God now, so that he may raise you up in due time;

unload all your burden on to him, since he is concerned about you.

Keep sober and alert, because your enemy the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that it is the same kind of suffering that the community of your brothers throughout the world is undergoing.

You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will restore you, he will confirm, strengthen and support you.

His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen.

I write these few words to you through Silvanus, who is a trustworthy brother, to encourage you and attest that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!

Your sister in Babylon, who is with you among the chosen, sends you greetings; so does my son, Mark.

Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the Western and the Coptic-Syriac Byzantine Churches remember the evangelist Mark. Mark, a cousin of Barnabas’, had been a part of the community of Jesus’ disciples who gathered in his mother’s house since his youth, as we read in Acts (12:12). The tradition identifies him in the young man who avoided capture during the passion by slipping out of the hands of the guards and leaving them only with the linen cloth he had been wearing. It is as if to say that we have to strip ourselves of everything in order to follow Jesus. Grown up at the school of the first community, Mark then accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. Later he went all the way to Rome with Peter. The old tradition says that "he was Peter’s disciple and interpreter though he did not hear and follow the Lord." In Rome, at the request of many Christians, he wrote the Gospel that bears his name. His was the first Gospel to be written down and it collects the witness of Peter’s preaching in the capital of the empire. In the conclusion of the first Letter of Peter, Mark is associated with the apostle in Babylon (a name given to Rome that alluded to the difficulty of the Christians’ situation similar to that of Israel during the Babylonian captivity (587-538 BC)). The last chapter of the First Letter of Peter is full of concern and affection. The apostle, who is living through a time of great suffering, urges the Christians to live in humility by putting all their worries in God without weighing on the lives of their brothers and sisters and to be ready to resist the violence of evil. Charity and peace, precious gifts given by God to his children, need to characterize the lives of the disciples of the Lord.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets