In the Year B (2012, 2015, etc.) in the Catholic Church’s lectionary of Scripture readings for Mass, the Gospel of St. Mark is featured prominently.
Mark’s Gospel is now generally regarded as the earliest Gospel. It presents a stark and challenging portrait of Jesus’ public ministry, which leads into a dramatic account of his passion and death. It has often been described as a passion narrative with a long introduction. Mark presents Jesus as a wise teacher and a powerful and compassionate healer. But he also insists that this Jesus can be properly understood only when we confront the mystery of the cross and Jesus’ identity as a suffering Messiah. For this reason Mark’s work is sometimes called the Gospel of Suffering. As we study and pray through this text, we will have to face the suffering of Jesus the Son of God and the suffering that is part of our lives as individuals and as citizens of the world.
Excerpted from Meeting St. Mark Today, by Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.
Books about St. Mark and his Gospel