Scripture Reading Reflection

By Fr. Andrew Kelly
Some other writer than Mark tacked on Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 16:15-20) to the end of Mark’s Gospel. Whoever wrote the passage had something, and still has something, to teach a believing community.
No matter what era or year, the community is still responsible for Christ’s message: “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” The writer’s community wondered how effective its preaching was. Was Christ’s message grabbing and transforming the world’s soul?
The writer believed if the community was Christ-centered there would be remarkable manifestations:
“…by using my name the community will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
In today’s community these manifestations seem far-fetched. If writing today, the writer’s remarkable manifestations would be:
“…by using my name the community will be feeding the hungry; clothing the naked; housing the homeless; practicing and living non-violence; beating swords into plowshares; strongly advocating peace and justice; and definitely protecting the environment from the deadly effects of pollution and climate change.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

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