Thought for the Day – 18 July
Commentary Saint Bruno of Segni on Mark 16:17-18
The Lord said to the Eleven: “These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents in their hands and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover”. ..Mark 16:17-18
In the primitive Church all the signs the Lord lists here were fulfilled to the letter, not only by the apostles but many other of the saints. The Gentiles would not have abandoned the worship of idols if the gospel preaching had not been confirmed with so many signs and wonders. Indeed, did not the disciples preach “a crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,” according to Saint Paul’s saying? (1Cor 1,23)…
As for us, from now on signs and wonders are no longer needed: it is enough for us to read or hear an account of those that have happened. For we believe in the Gospel, we believe in the Scriptures that relate them. And yet signs still take place daily and, if we would mark them well, we would acknowledge that they have far more worth than the concrete miracles of former times:
Every day priests administer baptism and call to conversion: isn’t this to cast out demons?
Every day they speak a new language when they explain holy Scripture by replacing the old letter with the newness of its spiritual sense.
They put serpents to flight when they free sinners’ hearts from their attachment to evil with gentle exhortation…
They heal the sick when they reconcile weak souls to God with their prayers.
Such are the signs the Lord had promised his saints – it is these they accomplish even today.
St Bruno of Segni – pray for us!