1st Reading: Acts 4:13-21
The leaders, elders, and scribes were astonished at the boldness of Peter and John, considering that they were uneducated and untrained men. They recognized, also, that they had been with Jesus, but, as the man who had been cured stood beside them, they could make no reply.
So they ordered them to leave the council room while they consulted with one another. They asked, “What shall we do with these men? Everyone who lives in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign has been given through them, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them never again to speak to anyone in the name of Jesus.” So they called them back and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s eyes for us to obey you rather than God. We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Then the council threatened them once more and let them go. They could find no way of punishing them because of the people who glorified God for what had happened.
Gospel: Mark 16:9-15
After Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had driven out seven demons. She went and reported the news to his followers, who were now mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he lived and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
After this he showed himself in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. These men too went back and told the others, but they did not believe them.
Later Jesus showed himself to the Eleven while they were at table. He reproached them for their unbelief and stubbornness in refusing to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Then he told them, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation.”
When Jesus was dead, his disciples had nowhere to go. They had no future. They must have slumped into terrible depression. They returned to their former way of life; they tried to go back to fishing. But “they caught nothing that night.” They had no future and they did not even have a past; they had nowhere to escape to. That was what made them capable of receiving the Good News, which is for Now.
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