THE Gospel of Mark (16: 15-18) today says: Proclaim the Good News. “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; the one who refuses to believe will be condemned. Signs like these will accompany those who have believed: in my Name they will cast out demons and speak new languages; they will pick up snakes, and if they drink anything poisonous, they will be harmed; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.
On another note – The Good News is the seed that will be planted in the world and will flourish, in its proper time, in every field of human endeavor. Salvation is not a matter of saving isolated souls or individual beings. The Gospel is to be proclaimed to all creation in all activities and acts of those who have been renewed by baptism. They are to be the yeast that transforms human history.
The one who refuses to believe will be condemned. There seems to be a threat and its erroneous interpretation was going to have countless consequences. Even if, in the past, we have read into this a condemnation to hell, this is not the meaning of the text.
The one who refuses to believe is one of those to whom the message has been presented, someone who has also seen and received signs that are eloquent enough for that person to be able to recognize the hand of God.
People in these situations will be condemned, that is to say, when they give an account of their good and bad deeds, they will receive “a” condemnation even if they have been victims of many influences. On that day, they will have to admit that they have been at fault, perhaps even seriously. On the other hand, those who believe and are baptized are saved, that is to say, they enjoy the gifts that God gives us through his Son Jesus: they have been profoundly renewed and their lives have taken another direction. They are going to participate in the mission of God’s people in history, a mysterious and magnificent work without which human beings would be condemned to lose themselves in every sense of the word.
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