Jesus mysteriously appears after the Resurrection and upbraids the Apostles for their unbelief. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Fruit of Faithfulness from the Holy Spirit so he can be a zealous witness for Christ and by building the Virtue of Religion so he can faithfully and frequently receive the Sacraments.

Liturgy

Octave of Easter – Saturday – Mk 16:9-15

Commentary

Following the Passion and burial of Jesus on Good Friday, Jesus rises from the dead on the third day, very early on Easter Sunday morning. When Mary Magdalene and others arrive just after dawn to complete His burial by ritually anointing His dead body, they find the huge stone that sealed the tomb, rolled away. They enter the tomb and an angel, who appears in the frightening form of a young man dressed in dazzling clothes (Lk 24:4), confirms that Jesus has risen and instructs the women to tell Peter and the disciples to go to Galilee to meet Jesus.

Easter Sunday, Jesus makes a number of appearances in, or near, Jerusalem to confirm He has risen from the dead as He promised.  Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (Mk 16:9), the other women with Mary (Mt 28:9), to Peter (Lk 24:34), to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-30), and finally to the Apostles (Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19). Even though not explicitly written in the Gospels, from early days, many Saints have believed that Jesus first appeared to His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On Easter Sunday evening, Jesus mysteriously appears to the Apostles while they are sitting at table in the Upper Room, and rebukes them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. The English word, “rebuke”,  a common translation, seriously understates the harshness of Jesus as He corrects the Apostles: the word in the original Greek manuscript (ωνειδισεν) is extremely harsh, meaning, “to disgrace”, “cast blame”, “cause shame”, “like showing one’s teeth.” Ironically, Jesus is harshly rebuking the Apostles in the very same room in which He gave them the first Eucharist at the Last Supper just three days before. The Apostles, not including John, abandoned Him during the Passion and failed to fully believe Mary Magdalene’s testimony that He had risen (Mk 16:11). Commanding them, Jesus charges the Apostles to preach the Gospel to the whole world and to give the Sacraments (Baptism, a shorthand for aAll the Sacraments; Mk 16:16) to those who believe; He also confirms that those who believe and receive the Sacraments will be saved (receive eternal life in Heaven).

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Consider Peter’s recollection (Peter directed his disciple Mark to write the Gospel of Mark) of the Harsh condemnation of the Apostles by the Divine King, awe-inducing in His Glorified Body, who expresses His Anger and speaks fiercely to sear His Admonishment into the minds of the Apostles (a Spiritual Work of Mercy) for lack of belief with words that, “disgrace, cast blame, and cause shame.” 

Be a faithful and zealous witness for Jesus

Realize: Jesus’ Resurrection is a historical event; He really was crucified, died and was buried, and miraculously rose again, appearing to many eye witnesses. 

Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s Appearances after the Resurrection (CCC 641-644).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruit of Faithfulness so I accept the Saints’ eye witness accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus and become a faithful and zealous witness of the Risen Christ to many others.

Faithfully and frequently receive the Sacraments

Realize: Every Catholic man must conform to Christ’s final directions to the Apostles; He confirms that those who have faith and receive the Sacraments will be saved. 

Believe: Accept the necessity of the Sacraments (CCC 1129; also: 1113-1134, 1210-1211, 1497, 1533-1535).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Priest, help me grow in the Virtue of Religion so that I always hunger for, and regularly receive, the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Eucharist.