Thoughts for the Day

Saturday, 23rd April 2022: Saturday of Easter week

Mark 16 Mary Magdalene Resurrection Disciples Jesus

Reading : Verses from Mark, Chapter 16

St Mark

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.

Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I went to the lecturn to give the second reading at Evensong. The cathedral verger had opened it at the right page, but this time I hadn't checked it. So in all innocence I started reading Mark Chapter 16, verses 1-15, only to find myself unable to find verses 9-15. Where had they gone? The Gospel seemed to end with verse 8 and the women being told to go and tell Peter that Jesus had risen and was going ahead to Galilee. In the end in my panic I was forced to read only the first half of the chapter. Afterwards I discovered the words were on the opposite page but written in very small typeface and marked 'The longer ending of Mark'.

Mark's Gospel is a very short book, it doesn't have the birth stories of Jesus and has no resurrection stories as in the other Gospels. It was the first Gospel to be written, and was at some point felt to be inadequate without a real ending. The addition of verses 9-15 seems to refer to the walk to Emmaus (Luke 24.13-35), and has Jesus upbraiding the disciples for their lack of belief at his resurrection. Importantly it has Jesus instruction to go and 'proclaim the good news to the whole creation'.

This message comes down the centuries to us. As God's people we are to take the Easter message as seen in Mark's Gospel to our world in any way that we can, through our words, through stories, and through our actions.


Lord Jesus Christ,
You brought Your Father's message of love
to our sinful world,
but we rejected that message.
Help us to listen again to the familiar words
of the Easter message
and revive our flagging faith.
Give us hope this day
that Your will, will be done
and that Your message of love
will be heard across the world.

Follow Up Thoughts

If you would like to find out more about Mark's Gospel, this video from Bible Project has some good information:

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