DAILY MASS READINGS (April 27, 2019)

SATURDAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF EASTER (CYCLE C, White)

Reading 1 (ACTS 4:13-21)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

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.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 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 (PSALM 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 (MARK 16:9-15)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

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.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the Gospel (Mark 16:9-15), Saint Mark narrates the appearances of the Risen Christ in three events: (1) Appearance to Saint Mary Magdalene (Cf. John 20:11-18), (2) Appearance to the Two Disciples at Emmaus (Cf. Luke 24:13-35), and (3) Appearance to the Eleven (Cf. Luke 24:35-48; John 20:19-31). The Evangelist summarizes the first two appearances in one common phrase: “The disciples did not believe.” But later on in the last appearance, when Jesus appears to the Eleven, he rebukes them for their lack of faith, although the reason for their unbelief is not stated, yet in the end, he commissions them to preach the Gospel to every creature. And because they have been strengthened by the Risen Lord, we see in the First Reading how Peter and John stood courageously before the Sanhedrin who questioned him about their preaching on Jesus who suffered, died, and rose again for salvation. The elders, leaders, and scribes could not find any means to condemn these two Apostles, so they decided to release them, yet Peter and John resented to obey the will of God rather than the command of the Sanhedrin to stop preaching in Christ’s name. 
My dear brothers and sisters, the Resurrection is the core of our Christian faith. Saint Mark tells us that in spite of our doubts and unbelief, the story of Jesus raised from the dead still remains in the hearts of those who believe in him, and they are challenged to proclaim and bear witness to this great event in salvation and secular history. That is why Saint Paul explains to the Corinthians a lot of things about Christ’s Resurrection. As he said: “If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). So as we journey down this Easter road, let us place the Easter story in our minds and hearts and allow it to take part in the Evangelization by proclamation and witnesses through our ordinary lifestyle.

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