A reading from the gospel according to Mark 16:15-18:
15 Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.
18 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.”
Reflection: The work of salvation
Jesus wants everyone to be saved. His command to His apostles to go into the whole world means that the work of salvation is not confined to Israel but to every corner of the globe. As His last will, it is ought to be followed. Up to this day, there are still frontiers for evangelization. Every one of us who have heard and believed in Him is called to participate in this grand project of building the Kingdom of God. We are the new “apostles” who are being commissioned to spread the Good News.
The promise of salvation to all believers is our ultimate hope. On the other hand, non-believers are given the warning that their deliberate decision to ignore the invitation will face grave condemnation. There is still time for them to make up their mind. Let us continue to pray for their conversion.
While many scholars believe that the gospel passage above was a late addition to the original writing of Mark, it is should not be brushed aside. Instead, we should take heed of its directive. The signs enumerated have already been recounted in other passages of the bible particularly in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. It will still be the case for those who truly believe. It may not be as dramatic as the miracles of Jesus but it is still possible. Yet our primary focus remains to be the proclamation of the Good News. If we do it with a pure heart, God never fails to let us witness signs and wonders of His love.