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One of the few things I’m accomplishing so far this Lent is reading through the Gospel of Mark (using the Message translation).

Granted, Mark is the shortest of the Gospels, so getting through it is really nothing to brag about. That said, Mark’s brevity belies its substance as a rich and vivid portrait of Jesus; it’s exactly what I needed this season.

I found out recently about Michael Pakaluk’s “new translation” of Mark, “The Memoirs of St Peter,” and bought a barely used copy; it arrived today. Only recently did I learn that church tradition holds that Mark, a follower and “interpreter” of St Peter, generally reflects the apostle’s narrative of the life of Christ. After reading an excerpt online of Pakaluk’s book, I was hooked. I look forward to tearing into it after I finish the Message version of the Gospel.