Today’s Gospel passage was not Mark’s original ending. That may have been lost, or the evangelist may have indeed intended to end at verse 8 with the disciples fleeing the empty tomb in fear and remaining forever silent. But what kind of “evangelization” is that? So this “longer ending,” written by someone other than Mark, has been canonical since the Council of Trent.
We hear Christ’s spectacular declaration that his believers will drive out demons, speak new languages, pick up serpents, and drink in poison with no harm as a sign of the power of his name. No one should preach or read this literally. How then do we approach our liturgical task of interpreting the assembly’s lives through this text?When we observe the traditional nine-day vigil toward Pentecost, what demons and serpents in our world need the Spirit’s driving wind? Click To Tweet
As we begin the traditional nine-day vigil toward Pentecost, what demons and serpents in our world need the Spirit’s driving wind? We who have been given the Holy Spirit have the power in Jesus’s name to dispel the demons of racism, to speak the language of mercy in the foreign land of hatred, to tear away the serpents of gossip and slander that choke human dignity, and to swallow our sinful pride to save ourselves from temptation. So let’s stop looking up at the sky and get going to be the signs of God’s power over death in the world.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- To the end
- God’s reign is wild
- The mystery of a meal
- Christ our compass
- The Spirit of Truth will not be silenced