On Saint Mark’s feast day, we hear his Gospel account, Mark 16: 15-20, of Jesus’ final instructions to the disciples right before he leaves them to ascend into heaven: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” As followers of Jesus, we are called to a discipleship that is more than assenting to his messages and believing the way he lived. We are called to spread the message, to pass on the good news to others. Jesus seems to be recruiting us to carry on his work! We can do that in a variety of ways. Whether our vocation is religious life, marriage, priesthood, or single life, we are his disciple. A disciple not only believes the word of the Master, but also helps spread it.
Jesus mentions some signs that will accompany the disciples as they evangelize; serpents will not harm them, they will drive out demons and heal the sick. Could he mean that if we follow him, we will not be as susceptible to the death-dealing forces of life without him? Does he mean that if we truly LIVE his life we will help others come to life and wholeness because of our presence? Jesus tells his disciples—and us—that we will speak new languages. Does he mean that by our meditating on his words and example, we truly will be speaking a language different than the empty, hollow rhetoric of our culture?
Being a disciple of Jesus does not mean we will not encounter hardships or frustrations, but Jesus calls us to trust in the love that God pours out for each one of us and to share that love with the world. So, let’s pick up the call to speak a new language! Let’s tap into our Easter grace, catch fire, and spread Christ’s message where we live and work!
How is Jesus calling you to "proclaim the gospel to every creature"?