Mass Reading & Meditation for April 6, 2013
Meditation: Acts 4:13-21
Saturday within the Octave of Easter
Perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, they were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
When we read stories about the apostles proclaiming the gospel so boldly, we may be tempted to put them on a pedestal—and excuse ourselves in the process. “Evangelization is a job for professionals. I’m just an ordinary Catholic.” But even though they were “companions of Jesus,” Peter and John were ordinary men as well! And one day, on their way to the Temple, they looked a beggar in the eye, helped him to his feet, and healed him in the name of Jesus. There was no fanfare. It was a simple act of faith.
The religious leaders might easily have won a theological debate with these two disciples, but they couldn’t deny the miracle staring them in the face. They tried ordering the apostles to stop talking about Jesus, but Peter simply said that it was impossible for them to keep quiet. They had seen and heard too much! They knew Jesus too well! How could they keep quiet about his good news?
We know that life for us ordinary Christians involves keeping God’s commandments and gathering with our borthers and sisters at Mass. But it also involves being sent into the world to witness to the good news of Christ. This is especially true during this Year of Faith, when our Holy Father has asked us to take up the call of the New Evangelization.
What makes us effective witnesses? The same thing that empowered Peter and John: companionship with Jesus. It may sound like a trite, overused answer, but it remains just as true today as it was back then. Nothing can take the place of time with the Lord when it comes to finding the courage to evangelize. And the reason is just as simple as it is timeworn: you can’t give what you don’t have. The more you know the Lord, the more you want to talk about him.
So take a cue from today’s psalm. In your own words, tell people, “The Lord, my strength and might, came to me as savior… . I shall not die but live and declare the deeds of the Lord” (Psalm 118:14, 17).
“Jesus, thank you for inviting me to become your companion. Show me how to share your love with the people around me.”
Psalm 118:1, 14-21 Mark 16:9-15