Saturday in the Easter Octave
2 April 2016
Mark, the Gospel we just heard proclaimed, portrayed the disciples of Jesus far from the ideal.
Witnessing how even storms obey His bidding, they can’t make sense of Who He really is. They see in Jesus someone Who will liberate them from their misery–but that’s all about it. We remember that in the cruficixion scene, no single one of them remained to console Him; everyone abandoned Him.
Reaching the concluding portion of the Gospel, we come to realize that the disciples have not shaped up. They still canot get the point about the identity of Jesus.
In the account which we just heard (Mark 16:9-15) twice it was reported to the Eleven that Jesus rose again. And in both accounts, they just shrugged it off. Mark is unrelenting in characterizing their qualities: skeptical and stubborn of heart.
Hence, when Jesus appeared to them in person, they got what they asked for: a stinging reproach. They had it coming. This serves them right.
But what is interesting is despite this, Jesus continues to entrust to these stubborn skeptics the task of proclaiming the Gospel to all creation.
In the first reading (Acts 4:13-21), we heard the redeeming account of how the disciples of Jesus spread the Good News. Equipped by the power of the Holy Spirit, they carried on doing what Jesus did. They healed the sick, they comforted those who were anxious.
And what is more, they stood up against the threat to their life and limbs so that everyone will know about Jesus.
Here, we see how the confidence of God provides power and perhaps, miracle that equips us to become bold and to become daring to embody God’s presence.
As we end today the novena in honor of the Divine Mercy, let us do what Jesus did. Let us not give up on people. And more so, let us not give up on ourselves.