TO BELIEVE OR NOT TO BELIEVE
Saturday in the Octave of Easter
Scriptural Readings: Acts 4:13-21; Psalms 118:1+14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21; Mark 16:9-15
My dear encountered couples:
After Jesus for three years had shown his apostles miracle after miracle, the one they found hardest to swallow was his resurrection from the dead. They demanded undeniable proof before they were going to believe that one. I think they made Jesus feel a bit frustrated. We are told, “he took them to task for their disbelief and their stubbornness, since they had put no faith in those who had seen him after he had been raised.”
Those men weren’t very good examples for us, were they? First, they proved themselves cowards by deserting Jesus when the going got tough, then they showed their lack of faith in his resurrection which he had already told them was going to happen. “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men who will put him to death, and he will be raised on the third day,” he had told them. (Mt.17) And they compounded their lack of faith when they refused to believe reliable witnesses who told them they had seen Jesus alive. These men who Jesus selected as the Fathers of our Faith were far from perfect.
If anyone thinks the Catholic Church and Christianity is the result of human endeavor alone, they are greatly mistaken. Christianity would not have gotten off the ground if it were not the work of God. And it would not continue if the hand of God did not have a tight grip on it. It is not Christians that keep the Church going, many Christians drive people away rather than draw them to Christ. It is the work of the Holy Spirit of Christ that keeps the Church from becoming but a memory. The apostles might not have believed at first, but when they finally did, they gave their all to Christ. Most of us have believed the Easter story since we first heard it. And our lives show it. Right? Let us hope so.
Let us pray for humility during this Easter season as we live out the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that our hearts might be supple so as to experience the risen Christ in ways that we might least expect it.