Saturday, April 18, 2009


First Reading: Acts 4:13-21
Psalm: Ps 118:1, 14-21
Gospel: Mk 16:9-15


In today's reading, we continue with the story of the first preachings of the apostles and their subsequent persecution. The chief priests and scribes all admit that a mighty work has been done through the apostles, but they do not want to hear the name of the one by whom it was done. At a loss, they proceed to bullying the apostles, whom they see as "uneducated, ordinary men".

How often in life we are intimidated by those who we see as smarter or wiser than we are. A common way to dismiss an argument is simply, "What do you know?" or "You wouldn't understand." We place a great deal of trust and authority in people who study for many years, and this is rightly so. However, one can study for hundreds of years and still learn something from the high school dropout or an innocent child. In learning, we must remember to be humble.

Peter and John would not be intimidated.
Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard. - Acts 4:19-20
They give the elders their due respect, but also offer them the chance to see their error. The apostles knew that their testimony was true and that Jesus would strengthen them.

So too in our own times. As Christians, we are often questioned about our beliefs, or told that our way of life is outdated or impossible. A secular culture attempts to intimidate us, telling us that we are bigots, zealots or lunatics. We must remember that these are only the tactics of a bully. Let the culture determine what is popular, and let God determine what is right.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of this day. May we use it wisely and to glorify Your name. Guide us in our walk, Lord, that we might defend those who are being intimidated by this world. Give them strength to stand up for what is right, and bless us with the gift of fortitude to stand with them. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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