Master Course: The Gospel of St. Mark
Discipleship and Mission in the Gospel of St. Mark
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). St. Peter, here, clearly delineates the critical task of the disciple of Jesus: to follow in the Lord’s footsteps.
The “following of Christ,” or sequela Christi, is a traditional description of the Christian life of discipleship and is a major theme found in the Gospel of St. Mark. Besides employing the word ‘disciple’ some 40 times in his brief gospel, Mark highlights the essential characteristics of what following Christ entails. Among other things, it involves responding to the call from Christ, fostering intimacy with the Lord, carrying the Cross, and sharing in the missionary activity of the Church.
In March 2017, a Master Course on the Gospel of St. Mark will consider the second gospel’s teaching about discipleship and mission. “Pope Francis has reminded the Church that baptism commissions the Christian to be a missionary disciple of Christ,” explained Ben Akers, the professor for the class. “This means that we are invited to follow Jesus and to tell others about him. Mark’s gospel is replete with examples of discipleship ‘wins’ and ‘losses’ which in turn offer insights for our own journey of following Christ,” Akers noted.
In all ages of the Church one of the most difficult challenges is to live as a faithful disciple of Christ. This is true even in our own time marked by the call for a New Evangelization. This course will help the student rediscover the adventure of following in Christ’s footsteps by living as a missionary disciple in their own life. A deeper appreciation of the gospel will be accomplished by an attentive reading of the gospel narrative in light of its historical milieu, representative patristic sources and select contemporary scholarship.
The Master Course on the Gospel of St. Mark will be taught at the Augustine Institute Greenwood Village campus on Tuesdays from 2-5pm on March 7, 14, 21, and 28.