April 18, 2020 – Saturday of the Easter Octave

“Placing our hands in the Hands of the Lord, and taking up His task of being the Proclaimers and Witnesses of His Resurrection to the world with an assurance of the Lord: ‘…I will be with you
… and above all, I trust You!’”

(Based on Acts 4:13-21 and Mk 16: 9-15)

One of the familiar kids’ stories, known to many of us is that of Jesus, after His ascension, going back to the heavens. There was a lot of excitement in heaven, in having Jesus back to the heavenly realms.

The many little angels gathered around the Lord and asked His experience of being on the earth.

Then one of the angels put forward this question to Jesus, “Dear Lord, you have done such a lot of good on the earth. You have sown the seeds of your Kingdom in the hearts of so many people.

But I have a genuine doubt
… To continue this your excellent work, you have appointed only 12 persons.

And most of those 12 are not very skilled or very able-bodied.

How do you think, your mission will continue?
How do you think this minuscule number of personnel can to spread Your Word?”

The Lord looked at the angel, with a deep reflective look; then with a gentle and hopeful smile, He said, “Yes, I know that they are only a few. I know that they are not very talented or highly capable.

Yet, I will be with them…

And above all, I trust them!”

These words echoed in the heavens
… “I will be with them
… and above all, I trust them!

The Lord indeed trusts in His chosen ones to continue His mission on the earth.

The Gospel of the Day recounts the mandate given to the Apostles by Jesus, the Master, to spread His Gospel to the entire nations: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15)

We are on the last day of the Easter Octave – the eighth day.

Over the last seven days, we have meditated on the various Resurrection accounts from the various Gospel narratives.

The encounter by Mary Magdalene, being called by her name (Jn 20: 11-18)
The encounter by Mary Magdalene, being called by her name (Jn 20: 11-18)
The encounter by Mary of Magdalene calling her by name (Jn 20: 11-18)
The encounter of the two disciples with the Risen Lord at the breaking of bread (Lk 24: 13-
35)
The encounter of the Apostles with the Risen Lord in the closed room (Lk 24: 35-48)
The encounter of the Apostles with the Risen Lord by the Sea of Tiberias (Jn 21: 1-14)

Today, in the Gospel of St Mark, we have a sort of summary of the many Resurrection narratives, closing with the mission mandate of the Lord, to “go into all the world” and reach out the saving Word of the Lord.

In all these various Resurrection narratives that are mentioned in today’s Gospel…
… one common element is seen: A mention of unbelief or uncertainty of the disciples.

When Mary Magdalene saw the Lord and reported this to the disciples…
… “but when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it” (Mk 16:11)

When the two disciples on the way to Emmaus spoke of the Risen Lord’s appearance to them, “they did not believe them” either (Mk 16: 13)
… but later the Lord appeared to the disciples themselves and “rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed…” (Mk 16: 14, NABRE)

The disciples found it hard to accept and believe in the Resurrection of the Lord.

They had been rebuked often by the Lord, during His earthly ministry.
Now they are again chided for their lack of faith, even after His Resurrection.

Despite this less intensity in their belief, the Risen Lord entrusts them with His mission of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom.

Despite this little strength in their faith, the Risen Lord, hands over to them His task of preaching the Word of God to all the nations.

That’s the trust of the Lord in His disciples.

That’s the faith of the Lord in His chosen ones

It’s His conviction that “I will be with them
… and above all, I trust them”!

Like the disciples, we too may and will have our moments of…
… variations in faith
… slackening in trust
… and slipping in hope

In all this, let us be assured that the Lord, Who has entrusted His task to us, will continue to trust in us, and assures His presence with us.

We are weak…
We are fragile…

The Lord knows these aspects in us, much better than we ourselves.

He knew all this, even of the Apostles.

Yet, He wholly trusted them.
And He wholly trusts us too….

The disciples would grow in the strength of this trust and would become courageous and powerful to give witness to the Risen Lord – even when put through trials and tribulations.

This bold witness even surprised many people, including the religious leaders:
“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!” (Acts 4:13)

Their conviction would make them to profess the Lord in all what they did:
“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!” (Acts 4:19-20)

Let us place our hands in the hands of the Lord, and take up His task of being the Proclaimers and Witnesses of His Resurrection to the world…
… always being assured that the Lord’s promises, “I will be with you
… and above all, I trust You!”

Happy Easter to all of you!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “A courageous spirit relies on faith, grows in courage amid difficulties, and knows quite well…

… that God loves, supports and helps those in need, when they confide and hope in Him!”

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