Saturday – Octave of Easter, Year A

Go, proclaim the Gospel to every creature!

Readings: 1st: Acts 4:13-21; Ps: 117; Gos Mc 16: 9-15

Esta breve reflexión fue escrita por el Reverendo Padre Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. Él es un sacerdote católico y un miembro de la Congregación de los Padres y Hermanos del Espíritu Santo (Espirítanos). Él está trabajando con el Grupo Internacional Espirítano De Puerto Rico y República Dominicana. Él es el administrador de la Parroquia La Resurrección del Señor, Canóvanas y el Canciller de la Diócesis de Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. Para más detalles y comentarios se puede contactarlo encanice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, Saturday marks the sixth octave of Easter. One of the characteristics of the gospel according to mark is its brevity. That is, its ability to summarize events. This is exactly what we see in his account of the apparitions of Christ to his disciples.

Here, Mark summarizes all the various apparitions we have seen so far from: Mt 28:8-15, Lk 24:13-35; 36-48, and Jn 20:11-18; 21:1-31. The brevity of Mark’s account is one of the reasons scholars suggest that other gospel writers copied from him, and probably embellished the stories.

Although Mark’s gospel is widely accepted by biblical as the first, however, it’s last position in the apparition accounts in the octave of Easter is strategic one by the Church. It is a summary, and summaries come at the end.

Whatever the case, the main focus of today’s gospel is the presentation of the apparitions of Christ to his disciples. Like in the other accounts we have seen this week, Mark summarized the two important objectives of these apparitions.

First, “he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart.” Mark generally presents Christ as one who has, speaks, and acts with authority. With authority, he spoke and rebuked demons.

So, it is no surprise that Mark said that he “rebuked” them, probably, to portray the idea of “casting out” the spirit (of unbelief and fear), which is predominant in his gospel. In order words, the apparition was to awaken or rekindle their faith.

The second objective of these apparitions is that, Christ came to commission them for his mission: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” So, after these apparitions, they were energized and transformed from timid disciples, to brave Apostles.

May, our encounter with the risen Christ this season transform us and strengthen for his mission. May it cast away all fears and doubt in us. Alleluia, Alleluia!

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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