St. Mark’s Feast Day
First of all, Happy Feast Day to anyone named Mark, or the feminine form of the name, Marcy (Marcie) or Marcella! St. Mark is the author of one of the four New Testament Gospels. The St. Mark Gospel is represented with a symbol of a lion – perhaps because of the quick and to-the-point style of this particular Gospel. That’s not factual, but it’s a good way to remember it. He’s the patron of Venice and Egypt. The body of St. Mark is now enshrined in the magnificent Basilica di San Marco in Venice. What a masterpiece! St. Mark’s Feast Day gives you a great opportunity to celebrate this Saint.
St. Mark, although not one of the Twelve Disciples called by Christ, was a close follower of Jesus. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, St. Mark authored quite possibly the oldest, and most definitely the shortest, of the Christian Gospels. This Evangelist approaches his written account of Jesus’ life in a very unique way. He opens the message with an account of Saint John the Baptist, the Herald of Christ – the one who will announce Jesus’ Mission! It’s interesting to note that the Evangelist, Mark, and the Precursor, John the Baptist, had the same purpose in life: to prepare people’s hearts and minds for God coming to us. In other words, even though Mark and John the Baptist are incredibly historical personages, their greatness was not just a measure of themselves, and their words were not self-promoting.
St. Mark’s approach to communicating provides us some Food for Thought for our family communications and relationships in general. First: St. Mark, having written the shortest Gospel, reminds us of the K.I.S.S. principal, which should really mean, “Keep It Simple & Sacred!” In other words, let’s get to the point with our words and remember that God hears us, so we need to be careful about what we say! Second: St. Mark and St. John the Baptist do very little talking about themselves. Their words are really intended to “build up” Jesus, not themselves. Do we talk about ourselves too much? And, when we talk about others, do we build them up or tear them down? Third: This is an important part. Even though St. Mark (and St. John the Baptist) were not “officially” called by Jesus to be one of the Twelve Disciples, they still followed Jesus and proclaimed the Good News. We may not always think we’re worthy to do the work of an Evangelist, someone who preaches, teaches and gives the Good News. But, take a cue from St. Mark. Even though he was not “officially” a disciple, he truly, “officially” became one!
“San Marco” Pasta
This spicy chicken with sautéed vegetables served over pasta in a light olive oil sauce is a quick and to-the-point meal that serves 2 people in minutes! Here’s my “version” of this traditional dish.
Boil water and cook pasta. Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep nonstick pan over high heat. Cook chicken in oil for 5–7 minutes until brown on each side. Add garlic, onions and peppers and sauté all together for another 3-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and oregano and mix together. When pasta is cooked al dente, drain water and add pasta to the pan to combine all of the flavors. Add the cheese last and stir all together for this quick but flavorful pasta.
Prayer requires us to know what we’re talking to God about. Christ reminds us not to babble. We can take a cue from St. Mark, who spoke of Christ so well by speaking to the point. St. Mark also reminds us that even though he was not an official disciple, he was given a great privilege to proclaim God’s message to the world. We may not feel “worthy” to do that for God, and sometimes we don’t know exactly what to say to God, so perhaps this liturgical prayer can help us to imitate St. Mark’s example:
Father, you gave St. Mark the privilege of proclaiming Your Gospel. May we profit by his wisdom and follow Christ more faithfully. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.