SATURDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF EASTER

April 7, 2018

Acts 4:13-21

 

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. They said, “What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened.


 

Psalm 118: 1, 14-21
 

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!

The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.

There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.

 

 

Mark 16:9-15

 

Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.

 

(NRSVCE)


 

Meditation

 

In the gospel as well as first reading, we see how the messengers of the Resurrection were not the most regarded people in society. Peter and John were uneducated simply fishermen. Yet, they were the ones God chose to perform a miracle through to baffle the men in power. Mary Magdalene was someone with seven demons before she met Jesus. Yet, she was the first person who saw Jesus raised from the dead whom God chose to inform the apostles of the Resurrection. God chose to work through some of the most unlikely candidates. He took people who were flawed, uneducated, and extremely sinful and transformed them into the first messengers of the good news of Christ’s triumph over sin and death.

 

It is only appropriate that Jesus should choose the apostles and women like Mary Magdalene as His first ambassadors. The transformation of their lives embody the message of Christ’s victory over sin. A miracle through simple and uneducated men only proves it could only come from God. Jesus came to call sinners and bring them back to himself. He chose and chooses to work through weak and humble vessels to demonstrate His power and goodness. It is not our might and goodness that gets us into heaven or heals people. It is the power and goodness of God that we can be saved from our sins and healed.

 

Where do you think you are strong? Where do you think you are weak? Do you fall in the habit of thinking you can earn heaven with your own good works or holiness? Today, bring to God your weaknesses and ask Him to work through them to showcase His power and glory. Thank Jesus for dying and rising so that you could not be lost forever but transformed into a shining vessel of God’s glory. Mary Magdalene could be saved out of her slavery and the apostles could be elevated from uneducated ordinary men. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we all have a chance.


Prayer: Thank you Jesus for rising from the dead! Thank you for sending messengers like Peter, John, and Mary Magdalene to preach the message of salvation and heal in your name. Lord, I am open to you and I desire to be used as an instrument for your power and glory. May my life be used to build your kingdom and bring others to you. Amen.

 

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