You may recall that this
ending of the Gospel of Mark, the one that appears in the most ancient
manuscripts of the book, seemed too abrupt to later copyists. Before long, 11
more verses had found their way there, a busy digest of post-resurrection
experiences from a variety of sources: John's account of the scene at the tomb
with Mary Magdalene, John's story of Thomas the doubter, a version of the walk
to Emmaus, an account of Jesus' ascension, other material from Luke/Acts. These
are entered almost as bullet points.
But the tacked-on verses need
not concern us here--the Revised Common Lectionary walks away from them
politely. We are left with the bald confusion and fear at the end of the
ancient tale, from a time before it was canonized and liturgized.
Whenever a new Bible translation comes out, questions arise about
changes to familiar passages. I was pleased to see the CEB use the word
"disciple" to refer to the mysterious young man who appears in Mark 14:51-52,
after the 12 disciples desert Jesus and run away.
"They have taken my Lord away," says a tearful Mary Magdalene, "and I do not know where they have laid him." Mary utters some version of this lament
three times in the Easter Sunday reading from John. D. Moody Smith calls it "an answer of unparalleled poignancy."