Father Philip Writes...
St Mark’s Gospel has two endings: The original Gospel ends abruptly at chapter 16 v 8… “And the women came out and ran away from the tomb because they were frightened out of their wits; and they said nothing to a soul, for they were afraid.” The 12 verses which now finish the Gospel are considered by scholars to be a slightly later addition by another person than Mark. At Theological college we rather wrote off verses 15-20 because of that, but we actually have very important lessons to learn from them. They read as follows:
‘And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Perhaps Mark’s original point was that we should all fill in the story of the Risen Christ in our lives, as quite clearly the women did say something to other people or nobody, including ourselves, would ever have heard about the Resurrection.
The Good News of Easter and Pentecost is that Jesus wants to work a miracle in us if we open our hearts to him. Please ask yourself: “What miracle do I want Jesus to work in me?” You have only to read the Acts of the Apostles to see a remarkable parallel between the life of the early Church and the life of Jesus. Jesus healed and so did the early Church. Jesus expelled evil spirits and so did the early Church. The Church is the extension of Jesus in space and time and at St Mary’s we are here to fulfil these words: “God sends no churches from the skies: out of our hearts they must arise.”
I pray these words may be fulfilled in our parish.