Saturday in the Octave of Easter

Lectionary: 266

It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”

As Easter Week comes to an end we are given two different images of the disciples. First there is the post-Pentecost story of Peter and John standing before the Sanhedrin and insisting they will speak about what they have seen and heard. And then the Gospel of Mark describes the same disciples, before Pentecost; the Risen Lord "rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised.

Finally he He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

Clearly the Gospel dies within us if we do not announce it to others. If you won a few million dollars in the lottery, you'd probably tell someone about it! Even if you didn't want to, if you thought it might be wiser not to tell all your family, friends, neighbors,  acquaintances and enemies, you'd have a hard time sitting on it. 

The painting on the left tells the story of what happened when some people refused to hear Saint Anthony's preaching. He couldn't help himself so he went out and talked to the fish. Hadn't the Lord commanded his followers to proclaim the Gospel to every creature? The denizens of the river, harbor and sea, wiser than their human neighbors, eagerly listened to the friar. Francis' preaching to the birds of Assisi fulfills that same gospel mandate. 

The difference, of course, between the disciples before and after Pentecost is the Holy Spirit. 

Even as we celebrate the Victory of Jesus Christ over Death, we turn our attention to Pentecost. What we have seen is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed when we discover the wisdom and audacity to say by thought, word and deed:  "The Lord is Risen!" 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.