In Year B, we hear primarily from the Gospel of Mark. Since each Evangelist has a unique perspective, what are the key issues that Mark addresses in his Gospel?
Gospels are a particular faith community’s reflection on Jesus. Each Gospel’s author reflected that community’s faith in Jesus. Jesus’ message is made relevant to the community’s situation and context. Mark was the first Gospel to be written. When Matthew and Luke wrote theirs, they imitated and adapted Mark for their communities.
Mark’s Gospel seems to be addressed to a faith community undergoing turmoil, rejection, and persecution—forces that threaten to overwhelm them. This provides the context around which Mark fashions the story of Jesus. He presents Jesus as the One sent by God to confront the forces of evil. That is the good news of Jesus.
Jesus’ struggle with the demonic forces leads to confrontation, rejection, outright opposition, and a conspiracy to do away with him. Realizing this, Jesus is not deterred. Rather Jesus calls for total faith in God who helps us to overcome the forces of evil. Suffering and even death seem to be the consequences of this struggle. Yet, that is not the end. The one who suffers for the sake of others, the suffering servant, will be the one through whom redemption and salvation will come to all. For Mark, this is what discipleship demands and what true faith in God can and will accomplish. See if you can detect these themes as you read Mark’s Gospel.