Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord!

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” … They went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

Mark 16:15-16, 20

This is a verse we’ll probably all heard or read several times in our lives. Hopefully we’ve even spent some time praying about how to apply this passage to our lives. Cool. Let’s look a bit beyond the surface and I think we’ll discover something even more powerful.

St. Mark, the author of this passage and Gospel, was not one of the Eleven. He never even met Jesus when he was living on this earth. How in the world could he know these words of Jesus? How could he know what this conversation looked like? This is the powerful part: St. Mark only knows this conversation and these words because the Apostles did what they were supposed to do. They obeyed Jesus and preached the Gospel.

Tradition holds that St. Mark was the spiritual child of St. Peter (check out the end of the First Letter of St. Peter). St. Mark came to know the Gospel through the preaching and teaching of St. Peter. He met Jesus Christ through one of Jesus’ disciples. Had Peter not been obedient to the command of Jesus to proclaim the Gospel, who knows whether Mark would have heard the Gospel proclaimed? Instead, Peter was obedient and did proclaim the Gospel. His obedience to Jesus led to Mark receiving the Gospel. When Mark received the Gospel, he was obedient to the words of Jesus. His obedience led to the whole world receiving the Gospel. What a gift!

Peter introduced Mark to Jesus. Mark introduced the whole world to Jesus.

Who will you introduce to Jesus?

Prayer of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

 

Divine Mercy

O Most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.

I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.

Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.

Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.

Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.

Help me, O Lord, that my hands my be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.

Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.

Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor.

You Yourself command me to exercise the three degrees of mercy. The first: the act of mercy, of whatever kind. The second: the word of mercy – if I cannot carry out a work of mercy, I will assist by my words. The third: prayer if I cannot show mercy by deeds or words, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically. O my Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for you can do all things.

– St. Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Most Blessed Sacrament (known mostly as St. Faustina) was a Polish nun of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. She lived from 1905-1938 and is known as the Apostle of Divine Mercy. Learn more about her here. Her diary tells of her beautiful relationship with Jesus Christ. This prayer, found in the diary, is one that could be of assistance for anyone striving to reveal the great mercy of our Savior.

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