23 April, Saturday — Manifest

Easter Saturday

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

“We cannot promise to stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.”

In today’s readings, Mary Magdalene rushed to tell the disciples the news of Jesus’ resurrection, only to be rejected. Jesus appeared and broke bread with two disciples on their journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus but their account was similarly disbelieved. It was only when Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples that they believed and began to proclaim the good news. Soon after, Peter and John were arrested by the authorities for proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So filled with the Holy Spirit, they could not help but give testimony with zeal and boldness despite threats and opposition by the Sanhedrin.  

These passages reminded me of the show ‘Manifest’, which I watched some months ago. The plot revolves around the lives of passengers on Flight 828, who suddenly reappear after being presumed dead for more than five years. As they struggle to reintegrate into a world which has moved on without them, some of them experience voices or visions of events which have yet to occur, referred to as ‘callings’.  The main character, Detective Michaela Stone, believes that their new lease of life is akin to a second chance. The callings prompt her to act for the larger good. She feels compelled to follow her callings in a quest to help others, even if doing so makes her a target of ridicule.

Even as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ during the Easter season, not many of us grasp the full responsibility of being believers. We are called to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples of all nations just as the early Christians did. I may happily participate in weekly Zoom prayer sessions organised at my workplace, yet I find myself struggling to actively share about my faith with non-Christians. Not exactly a shining example of faith made manifest.  

As I reflected more deeply on the zeal and courage of the disciples as well as the characters in ‘Manifest’, Romans 8:28 (get it?) hit me – “we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are calling according to his purpose”. Even if we go through a dry spell where we cannot see God working, let us trust that God has a purpose for each of us, and be open to His will in our lives.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Eber)

Prayer: Father God, grant us the grace to be obedient to Your will so that we may fulfil the purpose You intended for us.      

Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for second chances. Help us on our faith journey even when we stumble. Help us to hold fast to the promise of eternal life with You.  

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