April 14th. Saturday of Easter Week
Acts 4:13ff. In spite of threats, they must declare what they have seen and heard.
Mark 16:9ff. Mark’s summary of well-known resurrection stories from the other Gospels.
The courage to trust him
The Sanhedrin, the supreme ruling body of Judaism, found it impossible to consider that Jesus could be the Messiah, and that he had really risen from the dead. To believe in him would demand a major change in the furniture of their lives; nothing less than a total reinterpretation of their Scripture and cherished traditions. Yet Peter and John stood there, insisting that Jesus was now a living force for healing and renewal.
One might say that his resurrection rolled away more than the great millstone blocking his tomb; it also flung wide the doors to the future and gives us a glimpse of what lies beyond. The Sanhedrin, the disciples and we ourselves are asked to accept, in God’s most mysterious ways, that Jesus really is the Saviour, who throws light on all our lives and lets us re-evaluate all that we previously thought we knew. Are we willing to allow the love of Jesus to cast its bright rays on our understanding, so that we shape and plan our future in relation to him? If He has risen at the heart of our existence, then our lives will be as transformed as were those of his disciples at the beginning.
First Reading: 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.
Gospel: 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.