Mk 16:15-20 Go The Way. Not Away.
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Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name you will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. 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.”
There isn’t a “this way” or “that way”. There is only “The Way” that does not go away but goes out of His way and in all directions.
Go and proclaim the Gospel. Everybody has something to share. What do you have to share? The Gospel is not something that is read. The Gospel is something that is lived. So, it is not something but rather someone: Jesus Christ. Go into the whole world and proclaim me to everyone.”
But is that enough? Yes and no. Yes, Jesus our Lord is enough. What he said is more than enough. What he did is more than enough. But it is also not enough. There is still something (or rather someone) missing. And that is YOU. He must have you. He will not rest until he has you. He died for all. He wants to save all. And those who truly believe will do amazing things.
Drive out demons. Those who believe will drive out demons. “Peace be with you. My peace I give to you.” Those who accept Jesus entomb the devil. They give him no chance to put his ugly hands or feet or tongue in this world. The devil cannot enter our world unless he enters through us. He has no tongue to speak his ugly words. He has no hands to hurt us. He has no feet to stalk us. Christians are the front line in the defense and offense of the human race. We stand between the devil destroying our world and the world destroying itself. We stand alone. Religions are not the same. People do not think alike. Christianity is insanely different. Love of neighbor is sanely boring. Love of enemy is insanely exciting. Oh, the possibilities if we would just be who we claim to be. The Lord invites us to work on it; to leave the comfort of our neighborhood and to go throughout the world, baptizing in His name. We know it works because others have gone before us. You can go just about anywhere in the world and find a Church. You can go just about anywhere in the world and find a Christian community. Now, the Lord asks us to go to work and make disciples in His name. Spread the wealth. Spread the truth. Spread his peace; his joy.
Pick up serpents. Don’t be foolish to think that the Lord meant this in a literal way. Of course not! That would be too small. The Lord invites us to do what Moses did; to do what he did. He picked up the ancient serpent and held it over his head in victory. Moses did it with a bronze serpent. Jesus did it with a piece of wood. Go! Pick up the ancient serpent by swallowing your pride. Place him above your head and declare victory. The last is first. The greatest is the servant (The Master is the Minister). St. Peter the rock tells us, “Beloved: Clothe yourself with humility in your dealings with one another, for: ‘God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.’ So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exult you in due time” (1Pt 5:5b-6).
Before Christ’s resurrection, the Lord told his followers, “Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened, ask and you shall receive.” Now, after His resurrection, he is talking to them as if they were graduates. Today, like yesteryear, he tells us to seek and love, knock and surprise, ask and deliver.