2nd Week of Easter
1st Reading: 1Pet 5:5b-14
Beloved: Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen. I write you this briefly through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it. The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
Gospel: Mk 16:15-20
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
A CALL TO MISSION AND TO ANNOUCE THE GOOD NEWS: The last apparition of Jesus to the eleven after the Resurrection, came with the commissioning to go and proclaim the Good News to the whole world. Jesus promised salvation to all those who would believe the Good News and be baptised. We all fall into that category of believing and being saved. The apostles are given power to drive out demons and even speak in new languages. These powers are not for self-efficacy but intended to show God’s power and love for us. Happy are they that believe and get converted; they shall inherit the Kingdom. However, woe unto those that fail to believe; they are condemned. We are invited to listen to Jesus and follow Him in the footsteps of the Apostles. Let us be strong in faith and not lose hope when proclaiming the Good News of our Lord through our deeds and words.
Prayer: Lord, strengthen me in your work
THEY WILL DRIVE OUT DEMONS: Today we celebrate the feast of the evangelist Mark. In the gospel of Mark (3:14-15), when Jesus chooses the Twelve, His intension is very clearly spelt out: “He appointed twelve that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons…” Throughout the three years of his public ministry, they had been with Jesus. They had experienced Jesus in his life, death and resurrection. Now they are being sent out. When Jesus commissions them, they are once again being reminded: “These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons…” These lines should not be taken literally. They are signs. Some preachers have handled snakes literally in worship, and guess what, they have been killed. Taken together, the ministry of the disciples will end the reign of evil; it will establish the Kingdom of God.