One of the common kids’ stories that is known to many of us is that of Jesus, after His ascension, going back to the heavens.
There was a lot of excitement in heaven, in having Jesus back to the heavenly realms.
>> The many little angels gathered around the Lord and asked His experience of being on the earth.
Then one of the angel put forward this question to Jesus,
“Dear Lord, you have done such a lot of good on the earth. You have sown the seeds of the Kingdom in the hearts of so many people.
But I have a genuine doubt… To continue this your good work, you have appointed only 12 persons. And most of those 12 are not very skilled or very able-bodied.
>> How do you think, you mission will continue?
>> How do you think this miniscule number of personnel can continue to spread Your Word?
>> Do you have any backup plans, in case, they fail?”
The Lord looked at the angel, with a deep pensive look… then with a gentle and hopeful smile, He said,
“Yes, I know that they are only a few.
I know that they are not very talented or highly capable.
>> I even don’t have any other backup plan.
But there is one thing I know…
I will be with them…
>> And above all, I trust them!”
These words echoed in the heavens… “I will be with them… and above all, I trust them”!
The Lord indeed trusts in His chosen ones to continue His mission on the earth.
The Gospel of the Day recounts the mandate given to the Apostles by Jesus, the Master, to spread His Gospel to the entire nations: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” ( Mk 16:15)
We are on the last day of the Easter Octave – the eighth day.
Over the last seven days, we have meditated on the various Resurrection accounts from the various Gospel narratives.
>> The encounter of the Empty Tomb by the women and Peter and John (Jn 20:1-9)
>> The encounter by the women, of the Risen Lord on their way back from the tomb (Mt 28: 8-15)
>> The encounter by Mary of Magdalene with the Risen Lord calling her by name (Jn 20: 11-18)
>> The encounter of the two disciples with the Risen Lord at the breaking of bread (Lk 24: 13-35)
>> The encounter of the Apostles with the Risen Lord appearing in the closed room (Lk 24: 35-48)
>> The encounter of the Apostles with the Risen Lord by the Sea of Tiberias (Jn 21: 1-14)
Today, in the Gospel of St Mark, we have a sort of summary of the many Resurrection narratives, closing with the mission mandate of the Lord, to “go into all the world” and reach out the saving Word of the Lord.
In all these various Resurrection narratives that are mentioned in today’s Gospel…
… one common element is noticed: There is a mention of an unbelief or uncertainty of the disciples.
>> When Mary Magdalene had the appearance of the Lord and reported this to the disciples…
… “but when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it” (Mk 16:11)
>> When the two disciples on the way to Emmaus spoke of the Risen Lord’s appearance to them, “they did not believe them either” (Mk 16: 13)
But later the Lord appeared to the disciples themselves and “rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed…” (Mk 16: 14)
The disciples found it hard to accept and believe in the Resurrection of the Lord.
>> They had been rebuked often by the Lord, during His earthly ministry.
>> Now they are again chided for their lack of faith, even after His Resurrection.
Despite this less intensity in their belief, the Risen Lord entrusts them with His mission of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom.
>> Despite this little passion in their faith, the Risen Lord hands over to them His task of preaching the Word of God to all the nations.
> That’s the trust of the Lord in His disciples.
>> That’s the faith of the Lord in His chosen ones
It’s His conviction that “I will be with them… and above all, I trust them”!
Like the disciples, we too may and will have our moments of…
… variations in faith…
… slackening in trust…
… and slipping in hope!
In all this, let us be assured that the Lord who has entrusted His task to us, will continue to trust in us, and assures His presence with us.
We are weak… we are fragile…
>> The Lord knows these aspects in us, much better than we ourselves..
He knew all this, even of the Apostles.
>> Yet, He wholly trusted them.
And He wholly trusts us too….
Let us place our hands in the hands of the Lord… and take up His task of being the Proclaimers and Witnesses of His Resurrection to the world…
… always being assured that the Lord promises, “I will be with you… and above all, I trust You!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Consider how needful it was that the kind Savior should go and visit His disciples.
>> Their faith, their hope, their charity were all wavering.
Our Savior came to strengthen them: “It is I, Myself, My dear disciples, see my hands and my feet, and the wound in my side.”