Tuesday of Second Week of Easter (April 25, 2017): Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist

Thứ Hai, 24-04-2017 | 15:49:02

Today’s Readings:

1 Peter 5:5b-14
Ps 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
Mark 16:15-20

USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

Good News Reflection: What signs accompany you?

Jesus says, in our Gospel reading today, that “signs like these” will accompany Christians, and he lists some really amazing signs! He also mentions other signs throughout the Gospels. Elsewhere in the New Testament, we see many more examples of signs that accompany Christians, such as in our first reading today.

Never are miraculous signs meant for self-glorification. Nor are they meant to make one’s own life easier, although that might be a side effect. Always, they are tools of evangelization.

What kinds of signs accompany your daily life? (Ahem, I said DAILY life — oh, there’s the challenge!) What makes you noticeably different from the non-Christians around you? The word “holy” means to be different from the world, set apart from it, belonging not to the world but to the kingdom of God. It does not mean “divine” or “perfect” as we might assume.

Are you holy? Yes you are, and I’ll explain how I know this, shortly. Do you live your holy nature? Yes you do, if you behave differently than non-Christians. Although you and I have not perfected our holiness yet (and we won’t until we’re out of this world and finished with purgatory), we are holy. And how can we be sure of this? Because we have the HOLY Spirit living within us! Our baptisms made us holy. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, we renewed our reliance upon the Holy Spirit to grow in holiness.

The question now is: How does anyone else know that we are holy? How does your spouse know — or anyone else who lives with you? How does your employer know? If you’re a student, do your teachers know? Does your pastor know? Do your neighbors know? How about your friends? How about the grocery store clerk? What about the people in church with whom you interact in ministry and worship?

Don’t be surprised by that last question. The divisions and injustices that go on in parish life indicate that we Christians have a lot of work to do to grow in holiness.

Our faith in Christ becomes known — and evangelizes others — by the signs that accompany us, i.e., the signs of God’s presence within us. His love, his compassion, his wisdom, his patience, his forgiveness, his humility, his healing, and his wonders — these make us very different from the world.

How do people know that you are Christian?

Today’s Prayer:

Lord Jesus, strengthen our faith and our will that we may work the signs and wonders You desire in order to bring souls to You. Amen.

© 2017 by Terry A. Modica

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