2 April – Easter Saturday
The rulers, elders and scribes were astonished at the assurance shown by Peter and John, considering they were uneducated laymen; and they recognised them as associates of Jesus; but when they saw the man who had been cured standing by their side, they could find no answer. So they ordered them to stand outside while the Sanhedrin had a private discussion. ‘What are we going to do with these men?’ they asked. ‘It is obvious to everybody in Jerusalem that a miracle has been worked through them in public, and we cannot deny it. But to stop the whole thing spreading any further among the people, let us caution them never to speak to anyone in this name again.’
So they called them in and gave them a warning on no account to make statements or to teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John retorted, ‘You must judge whether in God’s eyes it is right to listen to you and not to God. We cannot promise to stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.’ The court repeated the warnings and then released them; they could not think of any way to punish them, since all the people were giving glory to God for what had happened.
Having risen in the morning on the first day of the week, Jesus appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had cast out seven devils. She then went to those who had been his companions, and who were mourning and in tears, and told them. But they did not believe her when they heard her say that he was alive and that she had seen him.
After this, he showed himself under another form to two of them as they were on their way into the country. These went back and told the others, who did not believe them either.
Lastly, he showed himself to the Eleven themselves while they were at table. He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. And he said to them, ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation.’
“Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation.”
It is often difficult to stand up and testify to something. I, for one, am quite a shy and introverted person, and will hesitate to stand up and speak.
“What if I say the wrong thing?”; “What if I stutter, and stumble on my words?” These are just some of the questions that run through my head before I speak in front of a crowd or even to my team of colleagues.
I get even more tense when it comes to testifying to the goodness of the Lord.
He has worked many marvels and miracles in my life, but so often, I do not speak of it nor testify to His goodness because of fear or perhaps pride. If only we were like Mother Mary, who did not hesitate to sing the praises of God in the Magnificat.
In the first reading, Peter and John did not fear testifying to the Lord’s goodness even when they were stopped by the rulers, elders and scribes.
Archbishop William Goh has started his 10-year pastoral plan for the New Evangelisation. But how can we be evangelists, if we do not speak of the Lord’s goodness to others?
Yes, it can be quite daunting, and we might be overcome with fear just by the thought of having to testify. However, 1 John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…”
If I truly love the Lord, then I must make His name known to others. If I truly love the Lord, then I must tell others of His goodness.
In today’s gospel, the Lord commands the disciples to “Go out the whole world; proclaim the good news to all creation.”
And that is what we are to do. Proclaim that God is truly alive and that His love endures forever!
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Lee)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grace me with the courage to always speak of Your goodness for me. Remove my fear of testifying to Your love for me and use me to make Your name known to all creation.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for giving me the grace to be able to testify to Your love. Help me to be grateful for all that you’ve done in my life.