Will be observed on the 25th, but we transferred its observance to this evening at the Divine Service. Tonight's homily remarked upon the change in Paul - from Mark not joining him and Barnabas on their next missionary journey, no how, now way; to "get Mark and bring him to me, because he is useful to me for the ministry" from St. Paul's final letter. I suspect the change was not in Mark, but in Paul.
Paul, always the whole hogger (Nagelism) and so intolerant of anyone who was less whole hogger than he. And yet Paul changed. I doubt Mark changed that much. But Paul changed. I think living longer with the Crucified and Risen Lord who is the Forgiveness of all sins literally changed the man.
And just as he knew as he faced his own death that he had no righteousness whatsoever but that Man who kept the Law perfectly for him and in his place, so he came to realize that that righteousness is the only righteousness ANYONE ever has. Did a kindness, a tenderness begin to burst through the zeal of the former Pharisee of the Pharisees? Did he, as his own life was on the point of being poured out as an offering to God, reach out in love toward those he had once judged harshly since, after all, they lived from the very same fount of Forgiveness he lived from?
I believe that the extra time with our Lord changed Paul. And I believe it can change us too. And that's a big point of the Eucharist, where He who is our Righteousness, our Forgiveness, gives to us His own self in His body and blood and reminds us that this is our whole Righteousness, and as also for every other member of His body, no matter how much they may disappoint or frustrate us. We all live together only from His mercy who was on the Cross for our sins, whose blood was shed for our forgiveness, and who lives to intercede for us.