“Peter and John were going up to the temple area for the three o’clock hour of prayer. And a man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.” Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong. He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with amazement and astonishment at what had happened to him.”
Do you recall the expression Jesus used in John 14,12? “The one who believes in me will do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.” The Mass offered today for the parish and for all of our more personal intentions included a first reading (above) which included the first healing performed by St. Peter and St. John (Acts 3,1-10). By this the Apostles showed that the work of Jesus was continuing in them. The fact that two of them were involved in the healing also indicates that the work of Jesus was being done not so much by individuals (although that may happen), but by the community which He left to carry on His mission.
The episode in Acts 3 clearly indicates that the power of Jesus has, as promised, been transferred to His followers. The crippled beggar can also be seen, as in similar Gospel stories, as symbolic of each one of us, we who are permanently in need of God’s help and who stumble in our efforts to follow Him. But, once healed and raised up, we can join him on His Way.
Even in this extraordinary and challenging moment in our history and the history of the Church, we give thanks for what Jesus Christ has done for us by His life, death, and resurrection. Even now, we marvel (as did the Apostles and the crowds) at the beautiful mystery of our salvation and how precious each one of us is in the eyes of God. Rejoice in the Lord – always!