Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
April 25th, 2012

Daniel Patrick O'Reilly

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Feast of St. Mark, the Evangelist
[555] 1 Peter 5:5b-14
Psalm 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
Mark 16:15-20


Today’s scripture readings seem to speak of humility, encouragement and proclaiming the Gospel.  In 1 Peter, Peter encourages early believers to be humble and vigilant.  He encourages them to: Cast your worries upon him because he cares for you.  The psalmist proclaims, “For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.”  And in Mark, Jesus commands the disciples to go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel.  And they went forth and preached everywhere and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

Proclaim the Gospel.  Jesus is pretty firm on this command.  Sometimes I wonder why.  If I have Christ in my heart, what is the big deal about him being in someone else’s heart?  If I have a good relationship with Christ, why is it important to share that?  Evangelism is way outside my comfort zone.  Can’t it just be Jesus and me?  Jesus says no. 

Have you ever had one of those moments where you do something you have done a million times and then you do it one more time and all of a sudden something strikes you?  The other day I walked into a room and closed the door.  Wow!  It was dark.  I mean really dark.  I could not see anything.  How strange.  I thought to myself, I did not open a can of darkness or turn on some light vacuum.   I didn’t push the light out of the room.  I simply closed a door.  Darkness had not overcome the light.  The light was still out there.  Wanting to come in.  Yet there I sat in darkness.  Behind a closed door.  How many people in the world sit behind a closed door?  Locked in disbelief.  I fear that some people find comfort in their disbelief.  It’s easy.  There’s no risk.  Better to sit comfortably in the darkness than to go out into the light.  Kind of like a casket.

On Easter morning it’s easy to believe.  The flowers are beautiful and fragrant.  The church is filled to capacity.  Everyone is smiling and friendly.  We are celebrating the ultimate miracle.  Christ is risen from the dead.  Now we’re a few weeks out.  Now if I proclaim He is risen, people will look at me.  Where are the accompanying signs if I do proclaim this?  And yet Christ’s command doesn’t say proclaim the Gospel on Easter morning.  To a specific group of friends.  Who you know will be receptive.  Who won’t require a spectacular accompanying sign.

So, how do I get over this fear of rejection?  What do I need to be able to proclaim the Gospel?  Sometimes I think it’s just a matter of not blocking Christ’s light.  I know I’m screwed up, but that doesn’t mean Christ can’t shine through me.  Sometimes I think it is our flaws and issues that allow Christ’s light to shine.  If I were perfect, who would want to listen to me?

But what about those accompanying signs?  Man, if I could raise someone from the dead, people would sure listen to me.  I wonder if feeding people, working with the sick or helping the poor counts as an accompanying sign?  How about an encouraging word?  A smile? 

My prayer today is for those of us afraid to proclaim the Gospel.  That we would be encouraged by Peter and Mark and allow Christ’s light to shine through us into a needful world.

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