Gospel Reflection for Sunday, July 21, 2024 – 16th Sunday Ordinary Time

Sunday Readings: Jeremiah 23.1-6 ;Ephesians 2.13-18; Mark 6.30-34

When they returned, the apostles gathered around Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. Jesus said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, making it impossible for them to so much as eat. Jesus and the apostles went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. People saw them leaving and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them (Mark 6.30-32).

By A.D. 70 when Mark writes the first gospel, Jesus’ apostles have spread the good news of his resurrection around the Mediterranean Sea. The disciples Jesus sends on mission in the gospel story have in history grown old or been martyred by the time Mark writes. Peter and Paul were martyred in A.D. 64 and 66, James in 44. Who will follow the disciples that have given their lives to spreading the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection?

  • Mark anticipates his audience in A.D. 70 may also feel the fear, confusion, and bewilderment that Jesus’ first disciples felt as they followed him before his death and resurrection. Mark doesn’t picture James, Peter, and Andrew as the heroic martyrs they became in their years as apostles. However, Mark’s audience knows Jesus’ initially fearful and blundering disciples later become great leaders. The first disciples’ failures invite Mark’s hearers to accept their own fear, terror, and confusion as part of faith developing and transforming us.
  • How do the blunderings and failures of Jesus’ first disciples inspire and encourage you?
  • What is a way you continue Jesus’ mission in your family life?
Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping