Mark 16:9-15 NRSVue
9Now 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. 10She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. 11But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
12After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
14Later 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. 15And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Faith in the risen Christ came slowly to some if not all of the apostles. It took a few occasions and apparitions to convince them that the Lord had risen from death. All faith has its ups and downs; prayer has its good times and tough times. Faith grows in a trust that God is always near, though it may not seem so. It is sometimes a dark love; and love in the darkness is what brings faith to life.
Mary is a witness for the disciples but they 'who been with him' thought they knew better and would not believe her. How often do we disregard the witness of others in our daily lives?
Often, like the disciples, we hold on to our sadness and our negative feelings, refusing to believe. Jesus upbraids the eleven for their stubbornness. 'Today, if you should hear his voice, harden not your hearts', Psalm 94 says. Where is the stubbornness and hardness of heart in my life that prevents me from giving myself more completely to faith in him today?
Mary Magdalene might not have seemed the most likely of witnesses to those who would not believe. I draw inspiration from her as a witness to life, an announcer of truth.
The lack of faith that the disciples had was a disappointment to Jesus yes he sent them to proclaim the good news. Jesus knows my failures but trusts me.