Friday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
Father of heaven and earth,
hear our prayers,
and show us the way to your peace in the
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading - Mark 16,15-18
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. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my
name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will
pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison;
they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.'
• The signs which
accompany the proclamation or announcement of the Good News. And finally Jesus
appears to the eleven disciples and reproached them because they had not
believed the persons who had seen him Risen. Once again, Mark refers to the
resistance of the disciples to believe in the witness of those, men and women,
who had made an experience of the Resurrection of Jesus. Why would this be so? Probably,
in order to teach two things. In the first place, that faith in Jesus
goes through the faith in persons who give witness. Second, that nobody
should get discouraged, when incredulity comes from the heart. Finally, the
eleven disciples had doubts!
• Then Jesus gives them the mission of announcing
the Good News to all creatures. The requirement which he indicates is the
following: to believe and to be baptized. To those who had the courage
to believe in the Good News and who are baptized, he promises them the
followings signs: they will cast out devils, they will have the gift of
tongues, they will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they
drink deadly poison, they will lay their hands on the sick who will recover. This
happens up until now:
- To cast out
devils; is to fight against the
force of evil which destroys life. The life of many persons has improved for
having entered a community and for having begun to live the Good News of the
presence of God in their life.
- To have the gift
of tongues: is to begin to
communicate with the others in a new form. Sometimes, we find a person whom we
never have seen before, but it seems to us that we have known her for a long
time . This happens because we speak the same language, the language of love.
- They will be
unharmed if they take deadly poison: there are many things which poison living together. Much
gossip which destroys the relationship between persons. The one who lives in
the presence of God goes beyond this and succeeds in not being bothered by this
- Cures the sick: wherever there is a clearer and more dynamic
conscience of the presence of God, there is also a special attention toward
oppressed and marginalized persons, especially sick persons. What helps the
person more to heal, is to feel accepted and loved.
- Through the
community, Jesus continues his mission: Jesus himself who lived in Palestine, where he accepted
the poor of his time, revealing in this way, the love of the Father, this same
Jesus continues alive in our midst, in our communities. And through us he
continues his mission, revealing the Good News of the Love of God for the poor.
Up until today, the Resurrection takes place, which urges us to sing: “Who will
separate us, who will separate us from the love of Christ, who will separate
us?” (cf. Rm 8, 38-39). No power of this world is capable to counteract the force
which comes from faith in the Resurrection (Rm 8, 35-39). A community which
wants to be witness of the Resurrection has to be a sign of life, should fight
against the forces of death, in a way that the world may be a favourable place
for life, and should believe that a different world is possible. Above all in
Latin America, where the life of the people is in danger because of the system
of death which has been imposed; the communities have to be a living proof of
the hope which overcomes the world, without fear of being happy!
4) Personal questions
• To cast out devils, to have the gift of new
tongues, to be unharmed by deadly poison and by the snakes, to impose the hands
on the sick: Have you fulfilled any of these signs?
• Does Jesus continue his mission through us and
through our community? Is he able to fulfil this mission in our community? How
and in which way?
5) Concluding prayer
extol him, all
faithful love is strong
constancy never-ending. (Ps 117,1-2)