< <  

Saturday, April 17, 2004

  > >

Easter Week

Acts 4:13-21
Psalm 118
Mark 16:9-15

View Readings
Similar Reflections

raising faith or raising hell?

"Jesus was revealed to the Eleven. 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." —Mark 16:14

The apostles didn't have faith in the risen Christ even after hearing about His resurrection from Mary Magdalene and the two disciples who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Mk 16:11, 13). Then the risen Jesus Himself rebuked the apostles for their lack of faith (Mk 16:14). This shows that faith is so high a priority for God that He Himself deals with our lack of faith.

Today it is fashionable to blame evil on almost everything but lack of faith. We blame our culture of death on Planned Parenthood, the government, bad teaching in the church, parents, the economy, etc. While this is true, we could move all the mountain ranges of our culture of death if we had but the faith the size of a tiny mustard seed (Mt 17:20). We hear of the "vocation crisis." Yet this "crisis" is not the cause but the effect, not the crisis but the symptom of the crisis. The crisis is the lack of faith. The Church prays to the Lord at Mass not to look "on our sins but on the faith of the Church." Let us, like Jesus, focus on our faith.

On this Easter Saturday, liturgically one of the most important days of the year, God the Father through the risen Son is sending the Holy Spirit to you to increase, deepen, and strengthen your faith. He will give you the gift of faith (1 Cor 12:9) and produce in you the fruit of the Spirit, called faith (Gal 5:22). May you receive the Easter gift of greater and ever-increasing faith.

Prayer:  Father, may I thank You at least daily for the gift of faith.

Promise:  "Observing the self-assurance of Peter and John, and realizing that the speakers were uneducated men of no standing, the questioners were amazed. Then they recognized these men as having been with Jesus." —Acts 4:13

Praise:  Praise our risen Lord and Savior! "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it" (Ps 118:24).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003