MK 16:15-20

In today’s Gospel of Mk 16:15-20, we witness Jesus’ ascension and the commissioning of His disciples to go out into all the world and preach the Good News.  The passage speaks of the signs that will accompany those who believe:  casting out demons, healing the sick, speaking in tongues, handling serpents and drinking deadly poison without harm.

These signs are symbolic of the spiritual authority given to believers through the Holy Spirit. They represent the power of faith, prayer and the presence of God working through His followers.

Casting out demons and healing the sick show the authority of believers has over spiritual and physical afflictions, demonstrating God’s compassion and desire for wholeness.  Speaking in tongues signify the gift of communication, enabling believers to share the message of salvation across languages and cultures.  Handling serpents and drinking deadly poison without harm illustrate divine protection and trust in God’s providence.

However, it is crucial to interpret these signs with discernment and caution.  They aren’t invitations to reckless behaviour or manipulation, but rather manifestations of God’s sovereignty and grace.

As followers of Christ today, our call to preach the Gospel remains unchanged.  We are to proclaim the message of God’s love, forgiveness, and redemption in ways relevant to our contemporary context.  This means engaging with diverse cultures, addressing pressing social issues, and demonstrating Christ’s teachings through our actions of compassion, justice, and reconciliation.

Preaching in today’s context requires sensitivity, humility, and a willingness to listen and learn from others.  It involves embodying the values of the Kingdom of God and being agents of challenge and positive change in the world.

Ultimately, as baptized believers, we are called to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to bring hope, healing, and reconciliation to a hurting world.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION

  1. What does it mean to you personally to be commissioned to go into all the world and preach the Gospel?
  2. Are there areas in your life where you struggle to fully embrace the call to preach the Gospel? If so, what steps can you take to overcome these obstacles?
  3. What practical steps can you take to live out the values of the Kingdom of God in your daily life, both in word and in deed?
  4. How does your understanding of these verses challenge or deepen your understanding of discipleship and following Jesus?

 

Sr Columbia Fernandez OP