Fr Noel's Homilies

(1) All four Gospels tell of the life of Christ differently. But in telling the story of the Passion, they are virtually identical.

(2) Passion story - first item in story-telling tradition of early Church before written narrative.

(3) Story of the Cross biggest problem for early Christians - "Jews want signs; Greeks wisdom; for Jews a hurdle, for Greeks foolishness" (1 Cor.1:22-23)

(4) Mark - heavy emphasis upon discipleship - privileged group; constant companions; authority to cast out demons and to preach.

(5) Not models - many failures; jealous; did not understand; wanted to call down fire and brimstone on those who did not agree.

(6) Passion story highlights these failures - 1 betrays; 3 go to sleep; 1 denies; and all flee; only one returned to be by the cross; a stranger attended to Christ's burial; and it was the loyal band of women who remained closest and were the eventual messengers to the Apostles that Christ had risen.

Conclusion: The Gospel of Mark reveals the disciples for what they were, and it contains a powerful message on the essence of discipleship. Hopefully, the liturgical services of this coming week may help us to evaluate our discipleship - betrayal, denial, asleep or on the run?