Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (16: 9-15) in which Jesus came among the Eleven as they were eating, rebuking them for their lack of faith and telling them ‘Go out to whole the world, proclaim the good news to all creation’.Fr Paul says there is general agreement among scholars that the last few verses of Mark’s Gospel were not written by the same author as the rest of the Gospel, but were added later, and what was added was a summary of the appearances of the Risen Christ that were expressed in the other Gospels. Because Mark’s Gospel was the first one written it ended with the account of the empty tomb and once the meetings with the Risen Christ had been described in the later Gospels it was felt that there was something missing from Mark’s Gospel and so this supplement was needed. The summary in today’s Gospel stresses that what had happened was utterly beyond the realm of human experience. It was utterly beyond anything which human nature could accomplish. And, yet that is what the power and kindness of God accomplished, and these appearances of Jesus are cited to prove it. In this Gospel and summary, we are warned that many would not believe it, and the first two appearances described in this Gospel tell us of this disbelief. It is only in the third appearance that Jesus commissions the apostles to go out and proclaim the good news and that they accept finally what occurs – that Jesus is risen. In closing, Fr Paul notes our Gospel challenge – How do I go out and proclaim the good news to those around me?
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