“When they heard that he was alive…they did not believe.”

The conclusion of Mark’s Gospel gives a very brief account of the time after the Resurrection (Mk 16:9-15).  Mark tells of Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene and her telling the mourning apostles of this encounter (their response is above).  The Emmaus Road meeting and those two disciples’ return to the Eleven is mentioned (the apostles still don’t believe).  Finally Jesus appears to the Eleven themselves; He berates them for their unbelief then tells them to proclaim the Gospel to every creature everywhere.  After all the time Jesus’ closest disciples spent with Jesus and the times they heard Him predict His death and resurrection, the Eleven still could not grasp that Jesus had risen.  Undoubtedly their anguish over the loss of their master, teacher, friend, and constant companion was devastating.  Fear regarding their own fate (remember they locked themselves away) also must have clouded their minds.  A cautionary tale for us today: Let not sadness, fear, or any other negative feeling or emotion ever separate us from God or, worse, make us question His motives or even His very existence.  We have had two thousand years to learn about Christ.  We have come to understand the redemptive power of suffering — we mustn’t let it go to waste.  Rather, let us cooperate in the redemptive power of suffering by embracing the cross, by practicing the virtues, and by eschewing sin and its temptations.

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