ST. MARK: MP: Psalm 145; Ecclesiasticus 2:1-11; Acts 12:25-13.3. EP: Psalms 67, 96; Isaiah 62:6-12; 2Timothy 4:1-11.
My Mom and Dad each had two sisters, so I had four Aunts growing up. They lived in close proximity so we saw them frequently and I was blessed to get to know them, their husbands and children quite well. Although I loved all of them equally, each with their own very special personality, I am thinking of my Mom's oldest sister, Aunt Madeleine, today.
Aunt Madeleine was a blood and guts kind of person....the kind of person who told it like she saw it with not a lot of polish around those thoughts. She had various nicknames in the family, one being "top-sergeant", the other being "old blood and guts". You could always count on Aunt Madeleine to tell you what she thought, or get her spin and understanding of something that had happened in the past. Things were pretty cut and dry and orderly with Aunt Madeleine. She was also incredibly kind-hearted and would do anything for her loved ones that she could possibly do, without fanfare, she just was there when you needed her. She was also very smart, with one of her favorite past-times, besides reading, being finishing the New York Times crossword puzzle everyday, including the one I find impossible to work on....Sunday's.
Cut and dried....clear and concise....a good word-smith....loving and kind....No wonder I think of Aunt Madeleine on St. Mark's Day, for isn't that the gift we have in his Gospel.....blood and guts/cut and dried, clear and concise, a good word-smith, and loving and kind....with an abrupt and disconcerting ending that is made to order for the Gospel account he wrote of Jesus' life and ministry. The abrupt ending is meant to keep us off balance, to incorporate into our lives what this briefest of all Gospels has to say....to carry on the journey begun by Jesus and his disciples. Another similarity to Aunt Madeleine....her directness many times would put us off-balance, just as Mark's Gospel is intended to do....for in being off balance we can see things from a new perspective and not accept the status quo. Uncomfortable? Yes. Good for us? You bet.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.