GOING TO EXTREMES

Saturday in the Octave of EasterLectionary: 266

Reading 1 ACTS 4:13-21
Observing the boldness of Peter and John

and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men,

the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed,

and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.

Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them,

they could say nothing in reply.

So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin,

and conferred with one another, saying,

“What are we to do with these men?

Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign

was done through them, and we cannot deny it.

But so that it may not be spread any further among the people,

let us give them a stern warning

never again to speak to anyone in this name.”
So they called them back

and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

Peter and John, however, said to them in reply,

“Whether it is right in the sight of God

for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges.

It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”

After threatening them further,

they released them,

finding no way to punish them,

on account of the people who were all praising God

for what had happened.

Responsorial Psalm PS 118:1 AND 14-15AB, 16-18, 19-21
R. (21a) I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

for his mercy endures forever.

My strength and my courage is the LORD,

and he has been my savior.

The joyful shout of victory

in the tents of the just.

R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.

or:

R. Alleluia.

“The right hand of the LORD is exalted;

the right hand of the LORD has struck with power.”

I shall not die, but live,

and declare the works of the LORD.

Though the LORD has indeed chastised me,

yet he has not delivered me to death.

R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Open to me the gates of justice;

I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.

This is the gate of the LORD;

the just shall enter it.

I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me

and have been my savior.

R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Alleluia PS 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

This is the day the LORD has made;

let us be glad and rejoice in it.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 16:9-15
When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week,

he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,

out of whom he had driven seven demons.

She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.

When they heard that he was alive

and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
After this he appeared in another form

to two of them walking along on their way to the country.

They returned and told the others;

but they did not believe them either.
But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them

and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart

because they had not believed those

who saw him after he had been raised.

He said to them, “Go into the whole world

and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
REFLECTION: GOING TO EXTREMES

Jesus “took them to task for their disbelief and their stubbornness.” –Mark 16:14
After Jesus’ Resurrection, Mary Magdalene “went to announce the good news to His followers” (Mk 16:10). Yet “they refused to believe it” (Mk 16:11). “Later on, as two of them were walking along on their way to the country, He was revealed to them” (Mk 16:12). Yet when they announced the good news of Jesus’ Resurrection, the apostles “put no more faith in them than in Mary Magdalene” (Mk 16:13). Jesus, in His mercy, did not want His apostles to miss out another time on His Resurrection. So “as they were at table, Jesus was revealed to the Eleven. He took them to task for their disbelief and their stubbornness” (Mk 16:14).
The crucified and risen Jesus does not want us to miss out on His Resurrection and eternal life. Therefore, He:
reprimands (Mk 16:14) and punishes us (2 Pt 2:9),

encourages us to repent,

warns us of damnation (Mk 16:16),

commands us to proclaim to all creation the good news of His resurrection (Mk 16:15),

calls His disciples to pray constantly, fast for the salvation of the world, and suffer redemptively for the salvation of unbelievers,

calls some of His disciples to be martyred,

sends Mary to wake up unbelievers before it is too late, and

gives His Body and Blood to us.

Jesus is risen, and He has gone to extremes to help us believe in Him and thereby receive eternal life with Him. May Jesus’ saving death, glorious Resurrection, and abounding graces not be in vain for any one of us.
PRAYER: Father, let me never miss an opportunity to help someone love You.

PROMISE: “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight for us to obey you rather than God.” –Acts 4:19

PRAISE: Praise Jesus, “the Resurrection and the Life”! (Jn 11:25)

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