The appearance to the disciples

Published April 6, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

REFLECTION

Mark 16:9-15

 

When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either.

But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

 

REFLECTION

UNBELIEF AND HARDNESS OF HEART. The Gospel readings during the Easter Octave narrate the different apparitions of Jesus after his resurrection from the dead. In his sermon to the household of Cornelius, Peter said that the risen Christ made himself visible, not to all the people, but to the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead (cf Acts 10:40-41). The New Testament presents testimonies to the resurrection of Jesus as a confessional tradition, e.g., “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” (Lk 24:34) and as a narrative tradition, e.g., the story of the appearance of the risen Christ to Mary Magdalene (cf Jn 20:11-18).

The closing appearance for the Easter Octave is taken from the summary of the Longer Ending of Mark’s Gospel. In the original ending, the empty tomb and the vision of an angel telling the women that Jesus has been raised from the dead overwhelm them and reduce them to silence. They say nothing to anyone, for they are afraid (cf Mk 16:8). The Longer Ending shows that the message of the angel has been reported and the disciples see Jesus in Galilee. Jesus rebukes them for they have not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. Despite this “imperfect” faith and disposition of the disciples, they are commissioned to go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel. Even with Jesus’ resurrection, we still have to struggle with our imperfect faith.

Lord, we believe that you are alive and accompany us  in our journey. Increase our faith and steady our weak knees.

 

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

 
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