Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – Octave of Easter – Saturday – Mark 16:9-15
The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday of the Octave of Easter is Mark 16:9-15.
Following Christ’s Passion and burial in the tomb on Good Friday, Christ rises after three days, early on Easter Sunday. When Mary Magdalene and others arrive early in the morning to anoint Christ’s dead body, they find the huge stone that sealed the tomb has been rolled away. They enter the tomb and a young man dressed in dazzling clothes (an angel) confirms that Christ has risen and the women must alert Peter and the disciples to go to Galilee to meet Christ (as He promised).
On Easter Sunday, Christ makes a number of appearances in or near Jerusalem to confirm to His Resurrection to the disciples. He appears to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9), the other women with Mary (Matt 28:9), to Peter (Luke 24:34), to Cleopas (the brother of St. Joseph; Jesus’ uncle) and another disciple on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-30) and finally to the Apostles (Luke 24:36; John 20:19). Even though not explicitly written in the Gospels, from early days, the Church has believed that Christ first appeared to His Mother, the Blessed Virgin.
On the evening of Easter, Christ mysteriously appears to the Apostles while they are sitting at table in the Upper Room. Christ upbraids (rebukes) the Apostles for their unbelief and hardness of heart, ironically 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 and failed to fully believe Mary Magdalene’s testimony that He had risen (Mark 16:11). Commanding them, Christ charges the Apostles to preach the Gospel to the whole world and to give the Sacraments (Baptism, a shorthand for all the Sacraments; Mark 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).
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ rises from the dead with His glorified Body with the ability to appear and disappear. Divine King, Christ rebukes His men and commands them to spread the Gospel and offer the Sacraments. Divine Mercy, Christ offers consolation to those close to Him by His Easter Sunday appearances.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Marvel at how Christ acts as the Risen King, rebuking the Apostles for their weakness and giving them clear marching orders.
2) Christ’s Resurrection is a historical event; He really was crucified, died and was buried and miraculously rose again and appeared to many. During Easter, reflect on the Gospels’ historical record of Christ’s Appearances (CCC 641-644) and prayerfully imagine the shock, fear, awe and joy of encountering the Risen Christ.
3) 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. During Easter, refresh your understanding of the Sacraments (CCC 1113-1134) and pray for Christ to help you hunger and regularly receive the Sacraments.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary
Virtue of the Day – Hope
Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead