Today’s Gospel: Mark 16:15-18 – Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul
When I opened the journaling Bible I use for preparing these reflections, I found that today’s Gospel reading is part of the “Longer Ending” of Mark’s Gospel. I have to admit it kind of made me chuckle. Is this like the “Director’s Cut” version? The one where the director gets to reinsert all the parts that might have originally been left on the cutting room floor?
Regardless of how or why this extended version came to be, the mere idea of a director got stuck in my head as I read these four short verses, and it got me thinking about how Jesus is sort of playing the role of a director here. He is directing the eleven remaining disciples on what they are supposed to do after He ascends. He tells them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”
When I read the footnote in my journaling Bible, it stated that this longer ending was accepted as a canonical part of the gospel by the Council of Trent, even though the style and vocabulary suggest it might have been written by someone other than Mark. So why was it included? It occurred to me that Jesus isn’t just directing the apostles here. He’s directing us as well! Sure, we might not drive out demons and pick up serpents, but we are called to be evangelizers, proclaiming the Gospel to the whole world. These weren’t just directions to a few people 2,000 years ago. They are directions to us!
How can I share the Gospel with those I encounter today?
Lord, grant me the courage to proclaim Your good news to all who I meet. Help me to go out into the world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Copyright 2020 Amy J. Cattapan
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