Today we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Except for a small section of the United States, this feast is celebrated on the 7th Sunday of Easter. As you can imagine, there is a lot going on in the Gospel of Mark 16:15-20. Today is the day when Jesus says to the disciples, “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.” Pretty strong words, wouldn’t you say? Jesus is emphatic about what he wants disciples to do. It’s something we talk about regularly in this column. Jesus commissions his disciples to go throughout the whole world to spread the good news. The good news of Jesus Christ.
Notice that Jesus tells them that he will be with them and he will take care of them. I do not recommend that we go around picking up serpents or drinking poison. These are emphatic examples Jesus uses to say to his followers that he is always with them and he will never desert them. No matter what happens to them or what they meet along the way Jesus will be with them. They are not alone!
Perhaps today is a good day for us to take a few moments and think about how we are fulfilling the commandment given to all disciples in the gospel today. Are we living the way Jesus wants us to live? Are we spreading the good news by word and example? Are we truly disciples of Jesus Christ?
Peace and All Good!