Daily Devotion for Monday 1st April 2024

St Mark 16: 9 – 12

Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.  She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

Reflection

The resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of the Christian message, the foundation of our faith and belief. Sadly, the first hearers did not believe it. How can a dead person come back to life? It is impossible. Even now, it is hard to believe, however, the Bible says, ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

This longer ending of Mark’s Gospel recounts Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene, who reports this appearance to the other disciples, who in turn do not believe her. Jesus then appears to two disciples “as they were walking into the country” (like the disciples on the road to Emmaus); these disciples tell the others who, again, fail to believe.

In these closing verses, there are some themes that recapitulate not only the beginning of this Gospel, but also in the end. Unbelief is one such theme. Time and again, we saw those close to Jesus failing to grasp his person and work. On several occasions, Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief. Their absence at the empty tomb testifies to their unbelief.  They were still slow to believe even after the testimony of the women. These disciples had been told repeatedly by Jesus that He would rise again. And yet, when the time came, all was forgotten, and they were found unbelieving. Time and again, their hardness of heart and lack of spiritual perception stood out. Despite eyewitness testimony of the risen Lord, their unbelief persisted.

Many a time, we too find it hard to believe the truth, our unbelief persists and hardens our thoughts and minds. Sometimes, there is so much weakness in our faith. However, the resurrection narrative is a reminder for us to learn from their unbelief. Let us cease to feel surprise when we feel doubts arising in our own heart. Our unbelieving turns to believing when our faith is firm, because, ‘faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’ 

Prayer

Lord, the resurrection of Your Son Jesus Christ has given us new life and renewed hope. Help us to live as a believing community so that we encourage others to believe in your resurrection through our words and deeds. Continue to strengthen us through the power of your resurrection. Amen. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.