Liturgical reading are available here.
They went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.Mark 16:9
These words conclude the gospel of Mark, or rather used to conclude. Verse 16:9 is called the shorter ending of Mark and this is where the gospel of Mark used to stop first. Readers must have been puzzled finding the gospel concluded with women running away from the tomb with trembling and bewilderment, failing to fulfill Jesus’ command to tell his disciples (Mark 16:7).
What was the author trying to say by ending his gospel in such an unusual way? The women fail in their faith in Jesus and his identity is not fully proclaimed. There are two ways out: for the reader and for the women.
- The reader can start over and read the gospel from the very beginning. Every encounter with the story of Jesus illuminates, inspires, and teaches. We should never say, we already know him well enough. The challenge remains, but so does the reward from a serious engagement with his Word.
- The women and the disciples receive a second chance in subsequent revelations. The experience with Jesus culminates not with an answer to a private curiosity or a satisfaction of an emotional need. The story of Jesus does not stop there, it is just the beginning: Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.