Saturday in the Octave of Easter
The movement in today’s gospel is fascinating. Through this movement Mark captures important truths about salvation history, discipleship, and evangelization in this one short passage.
First, the circles of people in this passage are ever widening. The Risen Christ is initially only known, according to Mark, to Mary of Magdala. Then he becomes present to the two on the road, followed by the apostles, and finally the whole world. This progression, which reflects the ever-expanding covenant of God, beautifully captures what we need as disciples.
So what do we need?
We need the personal encounter and prayer life of Mary Magdala, one that goes to Him at first light.
We also can’t survive without close, vulnerable, brother and sisterhood on this journey. Like the two disciples mentioned, we walk the road together and there needs to be a close person who can hold us accountable.
However, we are also meant for something larger than just a pair of us. We need the larger more diverse community, just as the Apostles needed one another.
Finally, we need the world to share the Gospel with.
A disciple needs: a prayer life; to be nurtured in a small intimate setting; to be a part of something bigger; and finally a mission. This mission is always somehow evangelistic: through word, deed or example.
This sense of mission is seen in the way that each person goes from their encounter with the Lord to telling another about Him. Notably, those who know a lot Jesus, the disciples, are not excluded from being witnessed to. None of us outgrow the basic proclamation of the Gospel! We should take heart when we pay attention to the initial results these first evangelists saw. They weren’t believed right away. The mission is not to force another into belief, nor is it a promise to always see our successes. Instead, it is a challenge and a command to share authentically and let God do the rest. Some seeds are planted deep in the earth and take forever to surface. That’s ok, even the apostles didn’t believe at first. Then the Risen Lord encountered them, confirming all the others had told them. We must be honest, authentic, and obedient to our call. He’ll handle the rest.
– Spencer Hargadon