Today on the feast of St.Mark we remember an evangelist who provided one of the first, simplest accounts of the Gospels. He focused on highlighting the scandal of it all- a crucified Messiah.
Here in this reading, he emphasizes Jesus’ call to all nations, to go forth and bring the good news. I picture crowds of robed men and women, running over hills, dancing into the sunset and shouting, “Jesus is risen! You are loved!”
Then Jesus goes on to list all the great works that come with the believers. After reading this part with some friends, we joked about picking up rattlesnakes at a retreat house. It was definitely not something we were ready to try. But are true believers if none of these signs are witnessed?
Honestly, some part of me, deep down, is waiting for me to drink poison and speak in tongues. I secretly hope that my holiness will let me perform mighty needs and feel God’s power in this world. But they haven’t happened (yet). So what is Jesus asking of me? Does He want us to judge our faith by the signs we perform?
I have heard it explained that God gave these signs for apostolic purposes, but now in this age He makes the miracles slightly rarer. Instead of needing these signs, God accompanies our proclamation of the good news with many other wondrous works. And that’s my challenge to you today. Look for the works that God has accompanied you with, and rejoice.
The biggest sign God gave us is the truth that when we place our lives fully in Jesus’ hands, we find God. Our blind eyes are opened to the kingdom of God. And yes, our demons are driven out, and we can confront those “snakes” with our bare hands.
Because God accompanies our faith without ceasing. But we must allow Him to change our hearts, and work in our lives.
Following after St.Mark, let us bring the good news to our world, that Christ is risen, and we are loved.