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Gospel Reflection on Mark 16:15-20 by Erin Duffy

Erin Duffy – Senior

In the Gospel of Mark, it says, “…and these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;they will pick up snakes with their hands, and when they drink deadly poison” (Mk 16:17-18). With God on our side, there is nothing we should fear. As Christians, we can “pick up snakes” with our hands. This means we can overcome any adversity and any evil that comes our way. This reading from the gospel assures everyone who reads it that Christ has what a person needs for salvation. Jesus is the way, to follow Him a person should believe and be baptized. But, to fear no evil and to follow the Lord truly there needs to be a solid foundation of faith in a person. I have struggled, like many Christians, to be steady in my faith. This past year, I have found that the best way to stay close to Christ is to take time to pray. I have also found comfort in reading the Scriptures. I often open the Bible to a random page and read what is there on the opened page. When I do this, and when I choose a less random way of reading the Bible, I feel like God is talking directly to me and that He is telling me what I need to hear at that moment. This helps me to feel closer to God.

Mark writes, “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mk 16:15). This is only possible if we know what we are talking about. In this gospel reading, Jesus is calling Christians to read the gospel and share its insights with their community, family, and friends. In the Catholic tradition, in general, it is not always emphasized that one should learn and study the Word. Our Protestant brothers and sisters have achieved more than us in this respect. Knowing what is in the Bible means understanding the messages behind the stories and their deeper meanings. Mark also writes that “then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it” (Mk 16:20). Here, it is evident that Jesus rewards those who spread the gospel by being present in them. The Holy Spirit, no doubt, works in those who evangelize and tell of the gospel. Since the Holy Spirit is present in our lives, we have nothing to fear!