Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15). Jesus is once again claiming who he is: Kyrios – Lord. The word Gospel comes from the Greek word, euangelion, meaning good news, but the one who proclaimed this good news during the time of Jesus was the emperor. Caesar would send his emissaries to announce such things as a great victory or his birthday. What Mark conveys at the very first line and here at the ending of his Gospel, is that Jesus is Lord!
This is true for us as well. Whenever we are dismissed from Mass, one of the dismissal lines I use most often is, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” This is to echo the command of Jesus for all of us to proclaim the Gospel in our everyday experiences and encounters.
We are able to proclaim the Gospel first and foremost by believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, our Savior and Lord. He has risen! He has risen indeed! He is the first born of the new creation. This is something to get excited about, something to fill us with joy. We are an Alleluia People, not a Grumpy Gus people. Once we remind ourselves what we believe and who we are then we need to remember to tell our faces when we leave our door.
The most powerful witness we can offer is to seek opportunities to think, act, speak about and toward others with kindness. When we catch the eye of another offer a smile. We can also say hello or offer a hand shake, a fist bump, a high five or a hug. We do need to be aware of other’s boundaries and space at the same time. If someone is not open, respect their boundaries, we are not giving of ourselves to get kindness in return.
We seek instead to spread the Gospel, which means share the love of Jesus, meaning we seek to will their good. May we accept and accompany others as Jesus does. He meets us, accepts us and loves us, for who we are and as we are. May we seek to be kind and gracious in our interactions with each person we meet. Remember those key words of please, thank you, and I forgive you, whether in a store, restaurant, bank, convenience store, on the sidewalk, in traffic, or online. Remember God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason and that is, it is better to listen first and speak second.
Believing in Jesus, embracing his love and message, and putting into practice each of these seemingly small actions with great love is a wonderful way to begin to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15). I might add, “every creature” is in this statement, all of the above applies to animals and plants as well as people. Yes, I high five my desert rose!

Photo: Desert Rose that I saved about a year and a half ago. It was down to one last leaf when I brought it home. Some water, sunlight, and a few high fives and voila! No flower buds yet, but some good healthy leaves.
Link for the Mass reading for Wednesday, April 25, 2018:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042518.cfm

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