Daily Reflection for Monday, April 25, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist
We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Peter 5: 5b-14
Responsorial: Psalm 89: 2-3, 6-7, 16-17
Gospel: Mark 16: 15-20
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16.
Through eighth grade, I attended a Lutheran parochial school and received a very traditional education about the Bible, Christianity, and salvation. Perhaps it was not what I was taught, but what I heard and learned were statements like these: If an infant is not baptized and dies, it is possible the child will go to hell because we are all born in original sin. Missionaries are needed to save the heathens and pagans around the world from eternal damnation because they do not know about Jesus.
We were taught that Christians would go to heaven. Faithful Jews could maybe go to heaven because they were God’s chosen people. But those other people? Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Taoists, and others? Probably not. Mormons? Maybe. Agnostics and atheists? Definitely not.
Later, as an adult and a convert to Catholicism, I had the pleasure of seeing my parochial grade school principal, and we had a friendly conversation. Ironically, the setting was at a beer-drinking and bingo-playing fund raiser for the local Catholic high school. I told him some of the lessons I recalled from my grade school religious instruction. He was somewhat taken aback and spoke of the universal love of God for all creatures. Maybe it was the beer, but we were both much more mellow.
Fr. Richard Rohr reminds us in Mark 16:15 that Jesus tells the disciples to proclaim the gospel to “every creature” not just to humans! All creation! All the world!
Richard Rohr wrote recently that Jesus never told people to worship him. He asked them to follow him. Follow him to peace, forgiveness, understanding. Follow him to love—love for him, ourselves, other humans, and all creation.
What is the gospel we are to proclaim to the world? It is the good news that the God of love and peace is in all, with all, and over all. That is the good news, the gospel message we are to live and share with the world. Salvation follows from knowing, believing, and living in that love and peace that Jesus taught.
Peace and blessings,