EASTER OCTAVE, FRIDAY
Reading 1: Acts 4: 1-12 Peter continues to attribute the cure of the lame man to Jesus.
Gospel: Jn 21:1-14 This contains John’s account of the return of Jesus and the apostles to the Sea of Tiberias, the miraculous catch of fish, and the meal of fish and bread Jesus prepares for his loved ones.
MADE COURAGEOUS THROUGH THE RESURRECTION
It is Plato who said, “Courage is knowing what not to fear.” The courage that the two apostles, Peter and John, show in the first reading is remarkable. These fishermen are not timid anymore. They are convinced of who Jesus is and know that they have nothing or no one to fear. Jesus had promised them, “when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time, you will be given what to say.” (cf. Mt 10:19) And the Lord always keeps his promise.
The apostles’ courage manifests itself in two ways -in continuing the preaching ministry of Jesus, and in boldly speaking the truth before the authorities. One of the greatest proofs for the resurrection of Jesus is the spectacular change that took place in the apostles. It is interesting to note the boldness with which the apostles speak to the priests, the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees. There are no traces of fear in them. This courage comes from the faith they now have in the risen Lord.
“By what power do you do this?” This question is not as simple as it looks. It has been posed in the presence of the rulers, the elders, the teachers of the law. The presence of all these increases the weight of the question. But there is no fear. The person who denied Jesus three times to common folk out of fear now confesses to the truth boldly.
Equally matching the question, Peter’s answer carries weight. He could have just said, “by the power of Christ” or simply “Jesus Christ.” Yet, the response of Peter carries with it a preaching, a catechesis and an opportunity for conversion -it is by the power of Lord Jesus whom they crucified, and who is now risen from the dead; he is the saviour of humanity. Without any fear, he tells them it is they who crucified Jesus, and with the same courage, invites them to be saved. We also need to strengthen our faith, and become courageous through faith in the Resurrection. Response: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Res. Psalm: Ps 118: 1-2, 4, 22-27 The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.
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