3. The Community School of Disciples in Mission

“And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be send out to preach and have authority to cast out demons” – Mk 3:13-15.

“We, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, have also received a calling like that of the Apostles and have been granted the gift to follow Christ in a communion of life and to go out into the world to proclaim the good news to every creature” – CC 4.


Our following of Jesus is “in the style of the Apostles;” that is to say that it refers to “the special communion of life with Christ, now, risen, and the mission of preaching the Gospel, to the whole universe.”[1] As “servants of the Word,”[2] we glimpse how to live our communion of missionary disciples of Jesus’ by confronting us with the experience of the Twelve.

The “vocational” reading of the Bible, received as the Word of God today, can help us to enhance in us the evangelical radicality to which we feel called, helping us to grow as missionary disciples in the joy of the Gospel.[3] And since we, like the Twelve, “communicate to others the full mystery of Christ,”[4] in this booklet, we propose to address some texts of the Gospel of Mark concerning the experience of apostolic discipleship of the Twelve to relate it to our following Christ in the Congregation.

1. Characteristics of Apostolic Following of Jesus in Mark

Two questions move through the text of Mark and give a narrative cohesion. One refers to the identity of Jesus, and the other has to do with our identity as disciples and how to follow Jesus. Christology and missionary discipleship of Jesus are two fundamental axes in the Second Gospel.

With the objective to frame this reflection, we want to highlight some common characteristics that we find between the preaching of John the Baptist, that of Jesus and that of his disciples, on the one hand, and the consequences of this proclamation, on the other. Let’s look at the following chart:

John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Mk 1:4). Preaching the Gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:14-15). They went out to preach that men should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick (Mk 6:12-13).
But when Herod heard of it, he said, ” John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” (Mk 6:16(-29). And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. (Mk 8:31 (+9:30-31 and 10:32-34). Be attentive: for they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before the governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them… And brother will deliver up brother to death, and father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. He who endures to the end will be saved (Mk 13:9, 12-13).


Coincidences are given with respect to the proclamation, announcement or claim of conversion that express and the violent consequences she brings to them. Located in the first part of the Gospel, references to John the Baptist anticipated project what will happen to Jesus in the course of the historical events narrated and his disciples, at the time Mark writes his Gospel. Matthew makes this clear to his community when he warns that “from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force” (Mt 11:12).

The Gospel comes to the crossroads of resistances that the apostolic kerigma encountered in the early days of the Church. It was necessary to clarify why the proclamation of a crucified Christ was a “Good News” as listeners had other expectations for the Messiah. St. Paul clearly expresses this disjunction in the letter he wrote to the Corinthians around the middle of the year 56: “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” (1 Cor 1:23). A few years later, between 60 and 70, the Gospel of Mark resumes and develops this same argument and explains the paradox of that “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” for those who believe (1 Co 1:24).

In the time of Jesus, the cross was the instrument of torture par excellence of the Romans and the Law of Moses considered that “he who hangs from the wood is cursed by God.”[5] For us, on the other hand, the cross represents the surrender of the most sublime love; because we have grown up in the Christian tradition and we didn’t have to make that leap.

However, throughout history, the experience of the Cross, both the Cross of Christ and that of the Cross voluntarily assumed because of its continuation is and will be somewhat difficult to explain to others or for us to understand; especially when we experience some of its consequences in our own flesh. Paradoxically there are thousands and thousands of Christians persecuted and killed today because of faith in Jesus Christ. For different reasons, we are not always fully aware of these situations and even Claret’s considerations about martyrdom may sound far removed from our life experience. However, many brothers in the Congregation have certified with their blood the testimony of their pursuit, recently, in Cameroon, some of our own have also suffered the consequences of being in solidarity with the suffering people. With this framework of understanding in mind, we can better understand the message of the Second Gospel and adequately answer the two questions that make up the scheme of the narration.[6]

As in every written work, the author is the only one who has clear things from the beginning and the design of the story he intends to tell. For this reason, Mark puts this title to his Gospel: “Beginning of the Good News of Jesus Messiah, Son of God.”[7]

The Evangelist reports that Jesus is the Christ Son of God to those who read or hear the text from the beginning. Thus, the recipients of his work – the community of Mark, first of all, but also, we who read it almost two thousand years later – depart with some advantage both with regard to the historical protagonists of the narrated events and to the characters involved in the text. All of them will discover it step by step, as the narrative progresses; it reflects, in this way what has happened historically. And this applies even to Jesus and the Twelve. To them, just at the end of the Gospel, Mark gives them a key so that they can fully understand who Jesus is. To meet the Risen Jesus and fully understand that Jesus-is-the-Messiah-Son-of-God, the Twelve should return to Galilee; “there you’ll see him.”[8]

1.1. Consider who are those who have been called. (1 Co 1, 26)

The context of this phrase reinforces the earlier idea that God’s behavior is paradoxical to the wise and knowledgeable; which is evident in his explanation of the crucified Messiah. But it is also so concerning those called by God to discipleship with Jesus. The phrase is a call against the vain glory of his disciples and a Pauline invitation for us to live our vocation with healthy realism. [9]

The call to “pursuit” is a disruption in our lives. Those who discover themselves called by God are able to leave everything that constitutes their known world and venture into a new situation. Whoever has a vocation goes after Jesus with certainties that a promise is based on his word or the authority of the Master. Mark makes this clear in the scenes of their vocation by the sea of Galilee: The two pairs of brothers, Simon and Andrew, James and John, leave the nets or their father with their workers in the boat and leave following Jesus. Shortly thereafter, Levi also leaves his post, his tax office and follows Jesus.[10]

Mark allows us to distinguish the various groups of followers and antagonists of Jesus in 3:7-30. From these groups we can infer different interests that move them to follow Him or oppose Jesus.

The group of disciples begins to conform as soon as Jesus begins his preaching in Galilee. The Twelve arise, on the pure initiative of Jesus, as his group of disciples. He establishes them as such and assigns a double commitment to his apostolic vocation: “And he appointed twelve, to be with him and to be sent out to preach, and have authority to cast out demons.”[11]

Mark notes that both objectives are fulfilled throughout the public life of Jesus. On the one hand, he is dedicated in a special way to the formation of the Twelve; in intimacy, he tells them that “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God.”[12] On the other hand, the Twelve effectively follow Jesus everywhere where he goes and carry out a portentous preaching.[13]

However, the apostolic group is wounded by the betrayal of one of its members,[14] by the defection of all at the time of the trial,[15] and by the denial of its principal reference.[16] They are the ones who share life and mission with Jesus from the beginning.

Throughout his missionary action in Galilee, but particularly in the second part of the Gospel, in the section of the road (Mk 8:22–10, 52), Jesus dedicates his greatest pedagogical commitment to them. Despite this, the Twelve have great difficulty in understanding Jesus.[17]

Now… Not all of his disciples disappear at the time of passion: “There were some women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome, who, when he was in Galilee, followed Jesus, and ministered to him;…”[18]

It is significant, that Mark makes explicit the discipleship of these women as a service at the end of the Gospel.[19] Mark uses this same expression only twice to allude to the service that was lavished on Jesus, and this of women is the second time. The first time that this expression was used when the assistance given by the angels during Jesus 40 days in the desert, before beginning his public ministry.[20] In this way, following as a service to Jesus constitutes an inclusion that encompasses all the Good News described by Mark.

In Mark, it seems that none of his friends were present near the cross. Only Mark tells us the scene and records the mockery of the Roman officer who constitutes a confession and does justice to the title of his work: “Truly this man was Son of God.”[21] The disciples, who “contemplated the scene from afar,” become exclusive witnesses of the crucifixion of Jesus and privileged recipients, protagonists of the proclamation of his resurrection.[22]

Unexpectedly, the message of the Risen Jesus is truncated in Mark. The evangelist ends his narrative by saying that “And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; they said nothing to anyone because they were afraid.”[23] Why? Because Mark wants to mobilize his auditorium by letting them know that the most fundamental thing about the Good News of Jesus is something that is still pending. It is therefore a task for listening to the Good News.

To see the Risen Jesus, it is necessary for the Apostles to meet him again in Galilee.[24] This is equivalent to reviewing in one’s heart the most significant events of what they experienced with him in the light of the new situation. The proclamation of Jesus Alive, which precedes them on the way to Galilee, helps them to change the heaviness of following in moments of darkness and rediscover Jesus present in their destiny.

There are times we need to meet Jesus again and see Him once again on our way; because in the daily commitments in following Jesus, it may call us to suffers the onslaught of culture and the world in which we are immersed. Like the Twelve, we need to “return to Galilee” to recreate our vocation as followers of Jesus by reviewing the events that give meaning in who we are, what we do, and how we live. We rarely lose vigor in our vital adherence to Christ and his proposal as missionary discipleship in community.

In the discernment of the XXV General Chapter, God appeals to our identity as disciples and challenges us through the events of the world, the Church and our own apostolic community.[25] How do we capitalize on our vocational experience of missionary disciples? What is God’s Grace us in our daily lives? How do we define the double objective of our apostolic vocation of “to be with Jesus and sent to preach with the power to expel demons?”

1.2. Nothing is worth it when compared to knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. (Phil 3:8)

We indicate earlier that the protagonists of the Gospel will gradually discover the identity of Jesus.

Jesus discovers himself as the “Beloved Son,” in whom God finds complacence at the moment of his baptism by John in Jordan. The voice of God reveals him in the theophany that Mark recounts when Jesus comes out of the water.[26] The desert experience marks a beginning and after in his life, as if it were the time for him to maturate that revelation.[27]

The demons, on the other hand, like us, because the author has told us; they also know who Jesus is, as he appears on the scene. The unclean spirits recognize him because they experience the consequences of his powerful preaching.[28]

People afflicted by different kinds of affliction seek and follow Jesus because they are liberated from their sufferings;[29] and seem to have understood everything from the beginning. They know they need it and, therefore, they are with to him. They listen, believe, and they don’t need to ask any more questions or who the man is that they follow. Jesus, for his part, recognizes them as his family.[30]

For their part, the Twelve, and among them, a small subgroup made up of Peter, James, and John, are the object of special dedication almost exclusive with that of Jesus.[31] The events they has experienced with him and the teachings with which he instructs them allow them to discern better than others who they are following.

The section of Mk 4:35–5, 43 shows a crescendo of divine revelation in the actions of Jesus. To his portentous preaching in Galilee, Mark adds a series of events by which the Apostles are progressing in their understanding of Jesus. The beginning is a scary question: “Who is he?” [32] The point of arrival is the confession of Peter: “You are the Messiah,”[33] and the confession of the Roman soldier: “This was Son of God.”[34]

Gradually, the apostles begin to understand that when Jesus controls the power of the sea[35] and frees those in the boat from the power of the devil,[36] sickness,[37] and death,[38] it is God who acts. The scene of transfiguration is also fundamental in this regard; not only because of the scene itself, but because God openly reveals it to those present, even though the disciples do not yet understand. [39]

Yet, the confession of the Twelve is a point of arrival. They go beyond those who recognize Him only as a prophet comparable to John the Baptist or Elijah.[40] But as much as they and others are found as the rejectors of the masters of the Law, whom Jesus calls blasphemers; because they attributed God’s work to Satan. They said, “He’s possessed by Beelzebul” and “he has an unclean spirit.”[41]

Overcoming the enormous differences, surely there are in our experience as disciples some moments or events that give certainty to our vocation and meaning to our lives; why we’re here. We too can make our words like that of Peter: “We have left everything and followed you.”[42] We too are disciples in a community of life and mission who walk in the footsteps of Jesus with the apostolic an imprint of Claret.

Our missionary community recognizes and celebrates God’s work in us and, therefore, united with Mary in the XXV General Chapter inviting us to proclaim our Magnificat.[43]

The vision that Father Claret had on September 24, 1859 is fulfilled in us and here we recreate: “From the four winds,” [44] our thanksgiving is heard multiplying to infinity; in the voice of those called “Sons of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” [45] which we celebrate singing: “The Lord has done great things for us; and we are glad.”[46]

1.3. Having the sentiments that correspond to those who are united to Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5)

Aprendan De Mi Det Sem Sta Rosa Aracas VenWith Peter’s confession in the proximity of Caesarea Philippi, this begins the second part of the Gospel of Mark. Jesus and his disciples go towards Jerusalem and, along the way, he points out to them, with clarity and in detail, everything related to his passion and resurrection.[47] For it is necessary, that they now understand what kind of Messiah Jesus is; certainly not the one they had in mind.

The Twelve are not prepared to process the proclamation of Jesus and react by denying what he crudely exposes to them, over and over again. The reactions allow us to see how affected they are because of fear, confusion and lack of understanding.[48] They are so moved, that they are unable to cast out demons as they had during their mission experience.[49]

In the three announcements of his passion, Mark uses the same narrative structure: The omen of passion and resurrection (1) it corresponds to inappropriate behavior on the part of the disciples (2); then, Jesus teaches them some issues that are fundamental to discipleship (3). Then, the evangelist complements this with other events and teachings, in the way of a catechesis.

The healings of the blind man of Bethsaida, in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee, and of Bartimaeus, in Jericho,[50] constitute the narrative of Mark’s framework of the section. But the path reflects the inner journey that the disciples must travel more than a geographical journey. The Twelve will have to go through this journey to understand the messianic nature of Jesus and discover how to follow Him

Leaving aside the first aspect, we have referred in a certain way before in speaking of the suffering Messiah, in the next points, we focus on the second point, related to Jesus’ teachings on discipleship.

  • First Lesson: The place of the disciple in following and the demands of discipleship (cf. Mk 8:33 – 9:1).

Dominated by contradiction, Peter strongly rebukes Jesus in private; but in the eyes of the others and because of his reaction, he is rebuked like a demon[51] reminding him of the place that fits as a follower: “Get behind me, Satan.”[52] These words refer to the beginning of his vocation as a disciple; after all, that’s the call for which he and the others (and we too) have left everything: “Come with me. Follow me.”[53]

In the other Synoptics, Matthew and Luke, clearly indicate that the disciple is and will always be an apprentice. One will never take the place of his teacher, even if he is in the way or the disciple becomes like him.[54] And in Matthew, Jesus is blunt: “But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren.”[55]

Having placed Peter in his rightful place, Jesus expresses three conditions intrinsic to discipleship and to all who follow him; not just the Twelve:

The first is that “God’s thoughts” have to gain more and more influence in their lives until they form the nucleus of all their actions; above all, other kinds of personal or human expectations and plans.[56] . Only in this way can the disciples of Jesus embrace their condition of assuming the destiny of Jesus the Master as a valued cross, consciously accepted. On this basis, the other two following conditions are possible.

The second is that the disciple acquires the capacity to project his life as an offering and solidarity dedication, because of Jesus and the Good News.[57]

The third, that the disciple witnessed his condition with determination.[58]

  • Second Lesson: Service as a bond of fraternal communion (cf. Mk 9:33-37; 10:42-45).

The second instruction presents to two conflicting situations. One is a discussion that the Twelve prefer not to speak of because it shames them; “they had discussed among themselves who was the most important.”[59] The other is about the request that the sons of Zebedee make to Jesus and upset the other apostles: “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one to your left, in your glory.”[60]

Jesus’ teaching proposes to pluck from the net, the eagerness of dominion of those who exalts and those who detain him above others: “Whosoever wants to be the first, let him be the last of all and the servant of all.” His plan disrupts the logic that reproduces the established order of the powerful in the world and their structures of domination in the internal dynamics of the community by altering the chosen fraternity.

Jesus’ response is found within the realm as paradoxical. And the truthfulness of his teaching is demonstrated in the example of his own life. Jesus constructs the paradigm of what He teaches and demands from his disciples: “The Son of man also came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”[61]

Then, so that we can understand what Jesus refers to when he talks about service, he embraces a child and placed him in the midst of everyone. His example is eloquent. A child is someone who needs other people to live; he is a vulnerable and helpless being, who doesn’t depend on himself. But the care a child needs isn’t just about giving him roof and food. The necessary care is also made of affection, tenderness, caresses and kisses. The affective dimension is fundamental. None of us would have survived without the care or protection our parents lavished on us when we were children. The love with which we were protected made it possible for us to grow and develop positively in life.

From Jesus’ perspective, what enables his disciples to grow in front of others is the service they give to each other when they are unselfish in the attention of others. Such greatness can only grow and be built from non-power; providing us to serve those who are helpless, providing them with the care and attention they need to succeed in life.

Moreover, service to the little ones treasures a sacramental dimension that no disciple who knows well can ignore. St. Joseph Gabriel of the Rosary Brochero, the holy priest of Traslasierra, in Córdoba, Argentina, expressed it in a very particular way to his parishioners: “God is like lice, he is everywhere, but he prefers the poor.”[62]

  • Third Lesson: The bond of the Twelve with those outside the community and with the little ones who make up it (cf. Mk 9:38-41. 42-48).

On the way to Jerusalem, there is another situation in which the Apostles intervene and a man is expelling demons in the name of Jesus. Seeing him proceed in this way, the disciples forbid him to continue to do so because he was not part of our community of followers; “he was not following us.”[63]

Jesus’ response is an antidote to the sectarianism of the apostolic community: “For he that is not against us is for us.”[64] And, if such a criterion of inclusion is not sufficient for one who is closed minded, Jesus adds that God treasures the smallest details that any person, without specifying his belonging to the community or not, offers his disciples “because they are of Christ.” None of these gestures “will go without reward.”[65] In other words, the criterion of behavior that Jesus demands of his disciples with regard to people who do not belong to the community is traced to God’s way of proceeding.

It is in these times when the Church and the Congregation are asking us to meet those who live on the margins of society and peripheries of human existence. Jesus contrasts the argument of the Twelve with a criterion that disarms their (and ours) unreasonable pretensions, their (and our) group misgivings.

Jesus then draws their attention to the behavior that the Apostles should lavish on the little ones in the community and then gives them a harsh warning: “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” This warning of Jesus finds its correlation in the scandals of abuse that shakes the Church today.[66]

In Mark, the images of the hand, foot and eye are otherwise eloquent, but can even be translated by uncontrolled craving for dominance, the megalomania of desire and vile intentions or envy and jealousy or selfish projects.

Jesus’ hyperbolic language illustrates the harm and derivations of behaviors originating in undue impulses and tendencies. Today, many of our brothers and sisters, cease to believe in the Good News of Jesus and defect from our communities because of these kinds of scandals that undermine both the credibility of the Church and the good reputation of its pastors and evangelizers.

Faced with the drama suffered by children, victims of abuse by clergy and religious, the Holy Father convened the presidents of the episcopal conferences for an Encounter in Rome, in February 2019. The purpose of this meeting was, first of all, to arouse the sense of responsibility of bishops in every Episcopate and throughout the ecclesial community. Secondly, guide them so that they know how to proceed: implementing tasks at different levels, prioritizing attention to victims, the search for justice and the expected behavior of Jesus’ disciples.

The portfolio and protocol of the Congregation for cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults falls within this perspective, and also recognizes that there are other types of abuse to which it is urgent that we give due attention to it and it is essential that we act in order to prevent it, since the initial formation of our missionaries in our formation communities.

One parameter for measuring the quality of our fraternal relationships is the care we give (or don’t) to each other in our communities. And sometimes, the way we treat each other in our homes or the indifference with which we live among us draws negatively. And sometimes, we see some of our brothers in Congregation having a hard time or erring in the direction of their lives, or tell us about inappropriate behaviors of theirs, and we do not do to anything. Sometimes we only move in the realm of criticism, contempt or complicit silence…

What happens to us is that we can often accompany others, outside the community and in pastoral spaces, but we become incapable of engaging with our brother whom we share a roof, food and ideals in life?

2. Missionaries with Spirit in the Congregation

It is proper of the Holy Spirit to guide and accompany the apostolic community towards the fullest knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ. The Spirit enlightens and explains Jesus’ teachings so that we know how to grow in our desire to follow. In our missionary community, this discernment is typical of the General Chapters that are the highest authority of the Congregation. In them, discernment is expressed as obedience to the Spirit and fidelity to the charism.[67]

The 1967 General Chapter, discerning the Congregational charism inherited from our Founder in the immediate Post-Council indicates that “the charism, spirit and mission of the Congregation within the Church, is the missionary service of the Word consisting of the communication of the ‘full mystery of Christ;'”[68] and points this out as the first characteristic of this service “the imitation of Christ’s evangelical life as an expression of our gift to live with him and associate with his salvific work announcing to men their salvation.” [69]

For us, “in following Jesus and collaborating with Him in the work that the Father entrusted to Him” is not possible without the anointing of the Spirit that enables us to contemplate, and imitate Christ until we are configured with him.[70] The Forge of the Heart of Mary, “configures us with Jesus and prays with us that the Spirit may come and the definitive victory against Evil that seeks to destroy God’s creation.” [71]

The vows we profess in the Claretian community and the virtues of our charism in the Church help us in this task and are an expression of our configuration with Christ:

  • Apostolic charity for God to be known, loved and served by all (CC 40).
  • Humility to serve with the same sentiments that Jesus Christ had (CC 41).
  • Meekness to win over the most possible for Christ with our apostolic ministry (CC 42).
  • Care of the senses, frugality and temperance, to be apostolic men (CC 43).
  • The effacement by Christ to gain a life in solidarity with those who suffer (CC 44).
  • Acceptance of the disease and the consequences of poverty as a testament to one’s own life (CC 45).

In 2015, the XXV General Chapter added to these apostolic virtues that we have outlined in other new virtues, equally typical of our charism and in line with the way we conceive of the Congregational mission – like the Missio Dei, a Shared Mission, Prophetic Mission, mission in dialogue – in the Church of our day.

“To be credible, to be able to communicate the Gospel, to become mystics in mission” we must cultivate among us “the audacity, creativity, cordiality, joy, closeness, and ability to glorify us on the Cross of Christ” [72] along with the characteristic charismatic virtues that detail our Constitutions.

How can we help each other grow in the apostolic journey with Jesus and the practice of the apostolic virtues that shape us with Christ?


We come to the end of our reflection on how to follow and proclaim Jesus in an apostolic community in the light of the Word of God and our Congregational Magisterium. Now is the time to open an area for personal reflection and communal dialogue.

Without cordial dialogue, community experience, fraternal encounter, we have only indifference and individualisms of various kinds. We are not called to live with our backs to others or separated from our brothers and sisters. We want to “promote the beauty of the community and revive the fraternal Alliance.”[73] Let us give ourselves the opportunity to grow into a true missionary fraternity that is a testimony of what we preach to others.


  1. What points of encounter or divergence do I find between Jesus’ mission with his disciples and their consequences with the experience of the Congregation and that of our community?
  2. How have I discovered Jesus and his message in my life? What captivates me most about him? What are the current challenges of my community journey?
  3. What events in the Claretian following of Jesus confirm my vocation and give meaning to my life?
  4. If I look at my experience as a missionary disciple in the Congregation, what aspects of my life have changed in the perspective of the configuration with Christ? What virtues do I nourish and what is difficult for me to grow?
  5. How do we live service in our community? How can we grow in this essential dimension of apostolic journey?
  6. How do we live fraternal co-responsibility in the accompaniment and care of our community brothers?
  7. What attitudes of mine help others in their missionary vocation? How can others help me with my own journey?



[1] Claretian Missionaries, Our Missionary Life Project. Comment to Constitutions II. Fundamental Constitution and the Missionary Life of the Congregation. Rome, 1991. Page 89.

[2] Claretian Missionaries, Declaration of the XI General Chapter “Servants of the Word”, Rome 1991, No. 14.

[3] Cf. Claretian Missionaries, Declaration of the XXI General Chapter “Servants of the Word”. Our missionary service of the Word in the “New Evangelization”. Rome, 1991. N. 13-14.

[4] CC 46.

[5] Dt. 21:33; Gal 3:13.

[6] Cf. Data from the worldwide list of persecution provided by the Christian organization “Open Doors” available in https://www. puertasabiertas.org /Pursuit-de-Christians – Access: 12/19/19 and the homily of Francis during the celebration of the Eucharist in the Catacombs of Priscilla, on Nov 2. 2019, available in https://www.religiondigital. org/Vatican/Pope-Christians-persecuted-first-centuries-catacumbasprisc ila-francisco_0_2173282666.html – Access: 12/19/19.

[7] Mk 1:1.

[8] Cf. Mk 16:7.

[9] Cf. 1Cor 1:26-31.

[10] Cf. Mk 1:16-20; 2:13-15.

[11] Cf. Mk 3:14f.

[12] Mk 4:11; cf. also 7:17 and 8:31.

[13] Cf. Mk 6b-13.

[14] Cf. Mk 3:19; 14: 43-49.

[15] Cf. Mk 14:50-52.

[16] Cf. MK 14: 66-72.

[17] Cf. Mk 4:13; 6:52; 8:17, 21; 10:38.

[18] Mc 15:40f.

[19] According to Luke, they had been healed or liberated by Jesus (cf. Lc 8, 1-3).

[20] Mk15:39.

[21] Cf. Mk 15:40-41, 47; 16:1-8. The relevance of Mary Magdalene in the apostolic group, her love and fortitude in following Jesus and her witness to the Resurrection made Pope Francis recently recognized her as apostle of the apostles. In this way he does justice to centuries of bad repute because of the confusion of having identified her with the woman who anoints Jesus in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper (cf. Mk 14:3-9), of whom Luke’s parallel text says that she is a public sinner (cf. Lk 7:36ff) when he included Mary Magdalene as one of the disciples whom Jesus had healed: “From whom (Jesus) he had cast out seven demons” (Lk 8:2). Cf. Holy See Press Office, “Mary Magdalene, apostle of the Apostles, 10/06/2016.” Available at: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/es/bollettino/pubblico/2016/06/10/apostol.html – Access: Dec. 22, 19.

[22] Mk 15:39.

[23] Mk 16:8. What follows, Mk 16:9-20, as is well known, is a canonical appendix that harmonizes Mark’s bewildering ending with the other evangelical accounts.

[24] Cf. Mk 16:7.

[25] Cf. Claretian Missionaries, Declaration of the XXV General Chapter “Witnesses Messengers of the Joy of the Gospel”. Rome, 2015. MS 8, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 27, 30.

[26] Cf. Mk 1:10f.

[27] Cf. Mk 1:12f.

[28] Cf. Mk 1:24-27.

[29] Cf. Mk 1:32-34, 37.

[30] Cf. Mk 3:32, 34b-35.

[31] Cf. Mk 5:37-42 (the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter); 9, 2-13 (the transfiguration of Jesus); 14, 32-42 (Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane) where the only privileged witnesses of events are Peter, James, and John.

[32] Mk 4:41.

[33] Mk 8:29.

[34] Mk 15:39.

[35] Cf. Mk 4:35ff.

[36] Cf. Mk 5;1-20.

[37] Cf. Mk 5:24-34.

[38] Cf. Mk 5:21-23, 35-43.

[39] Cf. Mk 9:2-13.

[40] Cf. Mk 8:27-29.

[41] Mk 3:22, 30.

[42] Mk 10:27f.

[43] Cf. MS 36.

[44] Mk 13:27.

[45] Cf. Antonio Ma. Claret, Autobiography, 686.

[46] Psalm 126:3.

[47] Cf. Mk 8:31; 9:30; 10:33-34.

[48] Cf. Mk 8:32; 9:33; 10:35-37.

[49] Cf. Mk 6:13; 9:18, 28.

[50] Cf. Mk 8:22-26; 10:46-52.

[51] In the clash between Peter and Jesus, both use the same term with which Jesus expels demons (Mk 1:25); the same one with which he commands the sea and wind to calm down in the passage of the storm of the lake (4, 39), (“warn” or “severely rebuke”).

[52] Mk 8:33.

[53] Mk 1:17; 2:14.

[54] Cf. Mt 10:24; Lk 6:40.

[55] Mt 23:8.

[56] Cf. Mk 8:33b; 9:34b.

[57] Cf. Mk 9:35-37.

[58] Cf. Mk 9:38. It is good to bring up here the offering of the life of our martyr brothers of Barbastro in the testimony of Blessed Faustino Pérez CMF: “Dear Congregation, we take you in our memories to these regions of pain and death. We all die happy without anyone fainting or in grief; we all die begging God that the blood that falls from our wounds is not avenging blood, but blood that enters red and lives through your veins, stimulate a growth in our development and expansion throughout the world. Goodbye, dear Congregation! Your sons, martyrs of Barbastro, salute you from prison and offer you our painful anxieties in atoning holocaust for our shortcomings and in testimony to our faithful, generous and perpetual love.”

[59] Cf. Mk 9:33-34.

[60] Cf. Mk 10:37-42.

[61] Mk 10:45. The Gospel of John, for its part, complements and enriches this perspective with the foot washing scene in which Jesus presents himself as the “Master and Lord” who puts himself at the service of others. Following his example, the disciples will find in fraternal service the key to happiness (cf. Jn 13:13-17).

[62] Cf. Mk 9:37; Mt 25:31-46.

[63] Mk 9:38.

[64] Mk 9:40.

[65] Mk 9:41.

[66] Cf. Mk 9:42-48.

[67] Cf. CC 153; Dir. 16.

[68] DC 19-20.

[69] DC 24 § 1.

[70] Cf. CC 39.

[71] MS 73.

[72] Cf. MS 39-40.

[73] MS 27.