Commentary on the Gospel of
St. Mark, the earliest gospel writer, brings us face to face with the dance between ‘faith and doubt’ which dominated the post resurrection announcements. Our Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene, she told the disciples, but they did not believe her. He appeared to Cleopas and his companion on their way to Emmaus, they shared their experience, but were not believed. What is happening? What is this unbelieving attitude saying to us today? One Christian, who does not go to church, told me that God is everywhere, what matters is connect to Him! Another told me that they love Jesus, but not the church. The current attitude is like, ‘believe but don’t practice!’ Yet, at the crucial moment of Jesus’ rising from the dead, he appears to his followers when they gathered – as one body, one church!
Furthermore, St. mark did not hide the fact of our risen Lord’s disapproval of the unbelieving attitude of the disciples, for he ‘rebukes’ them. Just think about this: our Lord left the glorious heaven and came to us, spent thirty-three years here in the world – going about doing good, teaching, healing, restoring people back to life, focusing and refocusing his followers on the ‘One ultimate Goal’ of reuniting us with our heavenly Father! The expectation is that on realizing the primary importance of this mission, we would be excited to carry on with it, over and above every other concern. In this episode, the disciples were caught wanting. And unfortunately, we keep relapsing into the same trap from time to time; whereas, as our Lord Himself puts it, the Christian is ‘the light of the world’; ‘the salt of the earth’ – bearer of the Gospel banner.
And so, our risen Lord refocuses the disciples and each one of us: ‘go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel.’ The Gospel is the living Word. The believer experiences ‘the Word, risen from the dead’, inflamed by the living Word, goes forth to proclaim it. One of the mistakes we make at times, is thinking that proclamation of the Word of God is reserved for specific group of people. No, the risen Lord invites us all to experience Him, and go forth to bear witness to Him out there in the world. Oh Lord, may you strengthen us by your grace as we share our experience of You with others, amen.