Saturday within the Octave of Easter
Gospel Mk 16:9-15
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."
When I was in high school, I was given the job of speaking in front of 600 people at a conference. I was a shy person, so I was quite nervous about speaking in front of the crowd. I don’t know what this teacher who assigned me this job was thinking, other than I made good marks in her class. Needless to say, I did not do a very good job in my presentation. I really needed to practice public speaking. I was not prepared nor did I know how to teach myself this skill.
Jesus is reprimanding his apostles for their disbelief and hearts of stone. He never gives up on his disciples, but gives them instruction as to what to do. Wow, what a big order, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."! Jesus walked with these men for 3 years to prepare them to place their trust in Him. He taught them the ways of God and showed them how to love. Still, their human minds and proud hearts remained in control.
Are we ready to follow Jesus in proclaiming the good news? We should be prepared through our formal religious education, prayer, and love of our church family/personal family. However, we cannot spread the good news by our actions and words unless we are guided by the Holy Spirit. We have to let go of our practical ways and speak with the love of Jesus. We will not necessarily be called to speak in front of hundreds of people to witness our faith, but we must prepare by listening to the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray for all priests keep their hearts open to the Holy Spirit in proclaiming the Gospel.