When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week,
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
out of whom he had driven seven demons.
She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.
When they heard that he was alive
and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
After this he appeared in another form
to two of them walking along on their way to the country.
They returned and told the others;
but they did not believe them either.
But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them
and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart
because they had not believed those
who saw him after he had been raised.
He said to them, “Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:9-15)
There is a real problem in which we all share. That problem is called our humanity. It is weak, tainted, flawed, prone to doubt. We probably see it best when we reflect upon the resurrection accounts in the Gospels.
After all, those accounts all center around eyewitnesses to the Lord’s rising from the dead. And, in the vast majority of the cases, those eyewitnesses, when they shared their good news, were not believed.
“How could it be? How could the Lord possibly be alive? We saw Him die. He could not have risen. We saw Him placed in the tomb.” Those would be the popular responses to someone’s announcement that he or she had seen the Lord. That, unfortunately, is often our response as well. We are prone to doubt, not to belief.
For those of us who have tried to announce the Good News in our lives, we may have been met with skepticism and ridicule. Because of doubt or because of being met by skepticism and ridicule, we may have given up when we should have redoubled our efforts.
We are coming to the end of the Octave of Easter. Each day this week we have celebrated the Easter event over and over again. Now, we are called to remember our responsibilities. As I see it, our responsibilities are two-fold: To believe and to proclaim our belief.
Let us do all that we can to make sure that we never have to hear the Lord chastise us the way we hear Him call His apostles to task in today’s Gospel. Rather, let us be ready and willing to go into the world and tell the Good News. May the peace and joy of the resurrection fill your minds and hearts this day!
FAITH ACTION: Reflect upon your family and friends. Is there someone you know who is weak in his or her faith? Take some time today to encourage that person. No nagging allowed. Just encouragement!