“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature”
Mark’s gospel is likely the first of the gospels written, it is the shortest and very fast-paced. I often think of the old Dragnet TV series – “..the facts, just the facts…” Mark is determined to share the ‘Good News’ – the in-breaking of God into human life. The story of Jesus! And for Mark, there is a certain sense of urgency!
Today’s passage from Mark, many commentators agree, was likely not written by Mark, not part of his original manuscript. But they fit with Mark – his succinctness, his urgency, his facts. This short passage summarizes passages from the other gospel writers – the appearance of Mary Magdalene from John and Luke; the two travelers from Luke, the gathering of the eleven from Matthew, Luke and John, the Ascension and mission from Luke and Acts.
Again, this summation compels the reader to get busy, get out into the world and proclaim the Good News! It’s not good enough to sit in disbelief; it’s not okay to let fear overcome you; do not wallow in your grief; you can’t just hear something – you have to embrace it and believe it!!
Do we believe it? Are we allowing ourselves to live into the ‘Alleluia’s’? Are we letting God ‘Easter’ in us?
As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, how are we proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel? How are we present to God, to self and to others? Are we making the best of ‘shelter in place’ or are we whining and complaining? Are we willing to stay home so others can stay safe? Are we taking time to ‘savor’ the quiet space long enough to hear the voice and movement of God? How might God be rebuking us in our unbelief and hardness of heart – what is he asking us to do to build the kingdom, to recognize our connectedness – who are the ‘creatures’ that need to hear the Good News of the Gospel from us??
Faith Offman is the Associate Director of Ministry at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit, Michigan.