Liturgical readings are available here.
Pharisees, Sadducees, and Teachers of the Law have a very bad reputation in most people’s eyes and we tend to consider them hypocrites. The reality must have been rather different and many sincere people were among them. Gamaliel from today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles is one of those and he enjoyed a hight reputation as the Teacher of the Law. Even Paul studied with him (he mentions later in the Acts: At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law).
It is uncertain if all those involved in the case with the apostles really shared Gamaliel’s fear and respect towards God’s thing, but they all stepped back. The next events gave proof to the Gamaliel’s words: the apostles all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Messiah, Jesus.
Even the successive centuries saw a rapid growth of Christianity which could not be prevented by any regime and by any persecution: no one was able to destroy them.
External circumstances simply cannot erase true faith. They can limit external expressions and rituals of our faith, but they cannot eradicate Christ from the life of the faithful. If our faith stands just on the external and human, sooner or later it will fall like a house of cards. No wonder that it is falling and failing in these days. It will enable us to see the divine that is hopefully there and which cannot be destroyed.