Daily Homily: Go and Proclaim the Gospel

Saturday Within the Octave of Easter

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Acts 4:13-21

Psalm 118:1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21

Mark 16:9-15

In the Gospel, we learn of three appearances of the risen Jesus and the different responses of Jesus’ disciples. Mary Magdalene saw Jesus but recognized him only when she heard her name. She announced the resurrection to the apostles, but they did not believe her. On the way to Emmaus, Jesus appeared to Cleopas and another disciple. They returned to Jerusalem and announced the resurrection, but the disciples again did not believe them. Only when Jesus himself appears while they are at table, do they believe.

On the one hand, Jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart; on the other, Jesus gives them the mission to go out into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel. Their encounter with the risen Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit will help them overcome their limitations and they will spread the Gospel to all nations. Sometimes we ourselves are slow to believe, but this does not negate our mission to preach the Gospel. Our prayer is: «Lord, I believe, help my unbelief».

In the Acts of the Apostles, we see Peter and John proclaim the Gospel fearlessly. They are bold and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Although uneducated in the law of Moses, they speak with confidence and authority to those who have dedicated their lives to the study of Scripture. The Sanhedrin, in contrast to the disciples, are speechless and unable to explain the remarkable sign of the healing of the man crippled from birth.

Jesus commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel in his name; the Sanhedrin commands them not to speak to anyone or teach in the name of Jesus. Peter responds that, in this case, they must obey God rather than the Sanhedrin. It is impossible for them not to speak about what they have seen and heard. They are witnesses to the Resurrection and their faith in Jesus is not in vain. They have received a gift from God and want to share that gift with all men.

Readers may contact Father Jason Mitchell at mitchelljason2011@gmail.com.

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Jason Mitchell

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