Gospel of Mark

The Gospel of Mark – an online formation series

The Gospel of Mark – an online formation series

Deacon Martin McElroy from St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs parish invites you to join him, on a journey through the Gospel according to Mark…

As you may know, in this liturgical year (which started in Advent), we will be reading Mark’s gospel on most Sundays, and also in weekday Masses, during Ordinary Time.

On our parish YouTube site, I am re-publishing the videos of the presentations I made in the formation series on Mark’s gospel, which we first ran in the spring and summer of 2021.  The series covers one chapter of Mark each week, with an introduction session to start the series, plus a couple of reflection sessions along the way, and a recap at the end of the series.

I’ll be publishing one video from the series per week, and you can also download (from the Description alongside each video) a PDF document with the slides I’m presenting, so you can study both at your own pace.  I encourage you to follow along – ideally reading the chapter of Mark that corresponds to each week’s presentation, before you watch the video.

You can access the videos (plus an accompanying PDF document with the presentation material) from the YouTube site of the parish of St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs.  The video for Session 1 is already there, with its PDF document, for you to get started.

We’re starting this week with the introductory session, in which we’ll get an overview of Mark’s gospel, preparing us for the week-by-week examination of each chapter:

  • I’ll talk about the approach we’ll take during the series;
  • Review what we know about the author, date, audience and genre of Mark;
  • Take a high level view of some of the key themes in Mark’s gospel;
  • And briefly review a few aspects of Mark’s style, which we’ll see from week to week as he tells his story.

Some of you will have journeyed with me in 2021 when I first made these presentations. I hope you might want to come along with me again – to refresh some of the things you learned, or to explore some of the detail which passed you by on the first viewing.  There’s always something new to find in Mark’s gospel, and the 3‑year cycle of readings gives us a great opportunity to take up this wonderful book, and hear its life-giving message again.

For those of you who haven’t followed the series before, I invite you to join me, and discover how Mark introduces you and me, to “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mk 1:1).

And if you don’t feel you can join me, please try to do this one thing, during this “year of Mark”: set aside some time to read the gospel according to Mark from beginning to end in a single sitting. It should only take you 2-3 hours maximum – and everyone who did this with me in 2021, agreed that it was an unforgettable experience. Have a go, and see what the Lord will do with you! (Tobit 13:6).

I look forward to walking with you, as we follow the words of the evangelist Mark, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

If you have any questions, please contact Deacon Martin (mmcelroy@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk).

Image: Frontispiece of the gospel of Mark, from the Lindisfarne Gospels (Cotton MS Nero D IV), courtesy of the British Library (c13536-06).