Reading: Mark 16.9-15, 19-20
Reflection: This reading from Mark is, by every serious Biblical scholar of every political and religious persuasion, not original to the gospel. Mark’s gospel ends with the women coming to the tomb, being told Jesus is headed to Galilee ahead of the disciples, and the women running away and saying nothing to anyone. This was, even to the ancient writers, unsatisfying. This longer ending to Mark includes resurrection appearances, and the justification for snake-handling and poison drinking in modern, extremist Pentecostal practice. I include it because 1) you can’t pick and choose which hard scripture to deal with, and 2) to make the point that, while it is true that Jesus has never left us, it can feel like that and it can be unsatisfying. Like any relationship, there are times we feel unheard and alone, but we must resist the urge in our relationship with Jesus, and with our day-to-day human relationships, to make up more satisfying endings that make us feel better. When we engage with the reality, the uncomfort, the unsettling facts, we can begin to see the truth. The truth is that those women must have said something eventually, because we are here, continuing in their footsteps. If we take the time to reflect and take a look at our life, the truth will usually emerge and, while it may not be satisfying or explicit, it will be there.
Prayer: O God, by the glorification of Jesus Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit you have opened for us the gates of your kingdom: Grant that we, who have received such great gifts, may dedicate ourselves more diligently to your service, and live more fully the riches of our faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen