Saturday, April 25, 2020
“These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they 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.” Mark 16:17–18
Did Jesus mean this literally? Yes. He certainly did. And throughout the history of the Church we have seen great miracles and mighty deeds performed by His followers in His name as God willed it in various times and places. So, yes, He meant what He said.
But there is also another level of meaning we should not miss. Though this is not literally going to be lived out by everyone who believes, it will be lived out according to a deeper and spiritual meaning.
There are four basic things Jesus promises will happen here. He promises that those who have faith will: 1) be victorious over the evil one, 2) communicate in a new way, 3) face worldly dangers and be protected, and 4) be a source of healing for others.
First, the evil one is real and is constantly trying to frighten us and overwhelm us. But, by analogy, the evil one is like a 3-pound dog who has a vicious and obnoxious bark, and little bite. The “barking” may be frightening at times, but the power of Christ is like a steel-toed boot that can easily handle this menace.
Second, we are called to “speak new languages” in that we are called to communicate the words and truth of God in a way that is beyond our natural abilities. We are called to speak and communicate in the language of God and to become His mouth for a world in need.
Third, there will be many struggles we face in this life. Not only from the evil one, but also from the world and from our own distorted struggles. Again, Jesus promises the grace to overcome the many dangers and struggles we will face in life if we but let Him.
Lastly, Jesus came to heal, especially our souls, and he wants us to be instruments of healing for those whom we encounter every day.
St. Mark, whom we honor today, was a great evangelist for Christ. Reflect, today, upon the fact that we are all called to share in the mission of evangelization. Ponder these callings in life as outlined above and if one stands out and speaks to you in a unique way, listen to it carefully. It may be God calling you to share more fully in His divine mission.
Lord, I do believe and I do choose to let You use me as an instrument of Your grace. May the faith You have given me be also a source of grace for a world in need. Jesus, I trust in You.