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Today’s Reading: Mark 16:14-20

14 Afterward he appeared to the Eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth andpreached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.

Today’s Commentary:

Mark’s account of the Great Commission stresses that the apostles must spread the Christian faith by:
(1) evangelization (preach) and
(2) the administration of the sacraments
The apostles’ mission to the whole creation includes all the nations of the world (Lk 24:47).

The power of the gospel is displayed through the miracles of those who preach it. In the early Church, the apostles drove out demons (Acts 16:16-18), spoke in new tongues (Acts 2:4-11), sustained the sting of serpents unharmed (Acts 28:1-6), and healed infirmities by placing their hands on the sick (Acts 3:6-8; 28:8; CCC 434, 670). Although these signs are not ends in themselves, they can be motives of credibility that lead unbelievers to embrace the gospel and likewise lead believers to see the reasonableness of their faith.

taken up into heaven: Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after his Resurrection (Acts 1:3). He is now enthroned as King and Judge at the Father’s right hand.