EASTER OCTAVE, SATURDAYReading 1: Acts 4:13-21 The Leaders, astonished at the change in the apostles, forbid them to preach any more. Peter tells them he would rather obey God. Gospel: Mk 16: 9-15 Mark reviews the appearances of Jesus, who, after scolding the apostles for their lack of faith, sends them into the world to “proclaim the good news to all creation.
FAITH FREES US FROM FEAR
We are Christians because of the death and resurrection of this one Jewish man, Jesus of Nazareth, who, being the son of God, became the rock of our salvation and the foundation of our faith. Through the knowledge that this faith provides, we are being brought to a deeper realization of our freedom in Christ today
The first reading shows both the marvelous power of Jesus working through the apostles, and the amazing faith and resilience the apostles show when faced with severe human opposition. It shows that the Jewish elders and scribes, even in their unbelief and stubbornness, acknowledge that a great miracle has been performed by the apostles. Peter has healed a man crippled from birth, and there was no way to reject that which was right before their eyes. They still threaten Peter, to get him to stop preaching about Jesus whom they crucified.
In this moment of human opposition, Peter’s faith is not shaken; rather, he replies in confidence and freedom, that he must obey God first, above every human law and exhortation, and hence will freely proclaim the resurrection of the Lord. The Gospel shows us how hard it initially was for the apostles to believe and to look beyond what their eyes could see. Thus, from these two readings we come to marvel at the amazing transformation of the apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is meant to give us hope and determination in our own journey of faith.
We have a strong and powerful God and we are called to preach the Gospel and live it even in the midst of serious opposition, attacks or challenges to our personal faith. We are called to live in this freedom we have from sin and death, and in the confidence that the anointing of the Holy Spirit gives us. For, “now we see dimly, but one day face to face we shall behold our God.” (1Cor 13:12)
Res. Psalm: Ps 118: 14-21 I will thank you, Lord, for you have answered me.
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