Acts 4:13-21; Psalm 117(118):1,14-21; Mark 16:9-15
Our first reading today is the second half as it were, of yesterdays and is commented on there.
St Marks’ gospel is generally held to have been completed with the empty tomb, and then later on an apendix added, containing summaries of the appearances of the risen Lord, as previously written in the other Gospels. These testimonies are not always received – the first two in the appendix are not, the third, in todays extract, is. We in our turn, are tasked with the mission – to go out to the whole world and give the good news. A herald, in the time of Jesus, brought news of for example, then end of a war and arrival of peace, to the world. There was no 'News at 10', email, twitter etc! When a herald arrived, and gave the news, this would not just be information – the message would change the state of the people there.
That is the sense that we are to take the good news – it is not simply a message, but is a reality to make present in the world. Peter, in today’s Acts of the Apostles reading, is doing just this.
As an aside – Mary of Magdala. There is no specific reason to believe this Mary is the same as the other Marys mentioned in the Gospels, but it has long been the christian tradition that she was the one who wept on Jesus’ feet and cleaned them with her hair. It is guessed that the phrase ‘ from whom he had cast seven demons’ is a stylistic way of saying that Jesus had brought her forgiveness.