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astmarkToday Christians celebrate the feast of St. Mark, known as the author of the shortest of the four canonical gospels. Mark never wrote anything superfluous but got right to the point. That reminds me of my father’s frequently repeated phrase, “short stories” when we were explaining something in a longer narrative than necessary. It also brings to mind something I learned long ago about interactions in groups. I was taught to ask myself three questions: 1. Is this necessary to be said, 2. Is it necessary that I be the one to say it, and 3. What will be the result of saying it?

In the first reading for this feast the Apostle Peter (himself not the best at thinking before speaking in the early days) gives a similar bits of advice when he writes: Clothe yourselves with humility…Cast all your worries upon the Lord because he cares for you. (1 PT 5)