April 18 Saturday in the Octave of Easter Lectionary: 266 Reading 1 Acts 4:13-21 Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus. Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could say nothing in reply. So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, and conferred with one another, saying, “What are we to do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign was done through them, and we cannot deny it. But so that it may not be spread any further among the people, let us give them a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this name.” So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “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.” After threatening them further, they released them, finding no way to punish them, on account of the people who were all praising God for what had happened. Responsorial Psalm 118:1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21 R. (21a) I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me. or: R. Alleluia. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just. R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me. or: R. Alleluia. “The right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD has struck with power.” I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. Though the LORD has indeed chastised me, yet he has not delivered me to death. R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me. or: R. Alleluia. Open to me the gates of justice; I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the just shall enter it. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior. R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me. or: R. Alleluia. Alleluia Ps 118:24 R. Alleluia, alleluia. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel Mk 16:9-15 When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either. But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Feast day of Saint Apollonius Saint Apollonius the Apologist or Saint Apollonius of Rome was a 2nd-century Christian martyr and apologist who was martyred in 185 under the Emperor Commodus. Apollonius' defense of the Faith is considered one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his slaves. The Praetorian Prefect arrested him, also putting the slave to death as an informer. The prefect demanded that Apollonius denounce the faith, and when he refused, the case was remanded to the Roman senate. There a debate took place between the prefect and Apollonius that clearly outlines the beauty and the value of Christianity. Apollonius said, "We have hastened to honor Him because we have learned lofty commandments from Him...Yet if it were a delusion (as you assert) which tells us that the soul is immortal, and that there is a judgment after death and a reward of virtue at the resurrection, and that god is the Judge, we would gladly be carried away by such a lie as that, which has taught us to lead good lives awaiting the hope of the future even while suffering adversities." Despite his eloquent defense, Apollonius was condemned and beheaded. Saint Apollonius, please pray for us.