Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

(Acts 3:1-10; Luke 24:13-35)

During Easter-time the Church regularly reads from the Acts of the Apostles at mass. Its use instructs us that the Father raised Jesus from the dead not only to validate Jesus’ mission that ends with the ignominy of the cross but also to give new life to His people. In today’s passage Peter and John’s cure of a cripple fills onlookers with amazement at the power of Jesus’ name.

The scene is both typical and indicative of Luke, the author of Acts. Since beggars sit in front of most churches to this day, it does not surprise us to hear of a beggar in the temple area in apostolic times. The assertion that the disciples continue to pray in the Jerusalem temple appears only in Luke’s gospel where Jesus’ death does not illegitimate the temple as in Mark’s and Matthew’s nor do the disciples have any fear of the Jews as in John’s.

Gold and silver have the highest currency in most societies, but for Christians their value is limited. We have Jesus Christ whose worth outpaces precious metals because he has the power to rescue us from every kind of distress. All Peter and John have to do to assure Jesus’ saving help is to invoke his name. The legs of the beggar suddenly become strong enough to jump. We also can count on Jesus when we plea for help. Of course, Jesus’ name is not a magic formula. He has promised to come to our assistance when we call him by name. But as Lord he retains the right to meet our needs as he sees fit, not as we might specify.