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Gospel Simple: Weekly Message for 04-24-2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, and Mark’s Gospel is characterized by its simplicity. We’re still celebrating the Easter season, and this the season when catechumens (adults who’ve received the sacraments of Christian Initiation at the Easter Vigil after a careful catechetical preparation) are taking their first fledgling steps as neophytes (recently baptized Christians). St. Mark’s Gospel, due to its simplicity and brevity, is the Gospel used in many catechetical programs, since reading it from start to finish as part of catechetical preparation is not so daunting in terms of length or content. It’s a simple Gospel that makes things Gospel simple.
We all know the Gospel is not just for catechumens or neophytes. It’s always fruitful to return to the fundamentals; they remind us, just as we teach those coming into the Church, that life must be Gospel simple. We live in a world that prides itself at times on sophistication, but sometimes sophistication is just a smoke screen for sophistry: doing a lot of mental gymnastics and rationalizations—sophisms—for thinking, saying, or doing something that deep down we know doesn’t add up with Gospel values. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a believer; you never stop being a disciple. The Gospel is learned and lived: we all started by learning it and then we strive to live it.
In a good story the ending sheds light on everything leading up to it. The story of the Good News is no exception. In Lent we considered the events that led up to the happiest ending imaginable—the Resurrection—but that amazing ending catapulted everything that led up to it above and beyond our wildest expectations.
Why not take some time this Easter season to read Mark’s Gospel in the light of the Resurrection? It’ll definitely help you to keep things Gospel simple.
May the Risen Lord continue to enlighten you this Easter season.
Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.