Wednesday of the Octave of Easter
(Acts 3:1-10; Luke 24:13-35)
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead gives us the hope of victory over our natural end. It also provides a model for a new way of living. Instead of focusing on our own needs it turns us to others in thanksgiving and joy. We see this transformation clearly in today’s first reading.
The crippled man sits at the temple gate waiting for passers-by to notice him. When Peter and John come, he looks at them for an offering. Instead he receives a share in the grace of Jesus’ resurrection. His life is immediately changed. He is enabled to leap up and walk around. He is healed not only physically but spiritually. He no longer thinks of himself but praises God.
We might ask ourselves whether the story is told as a metaphor to record only a spiritual change. Did divine grace strengthen the ankles of the paralytic as well as his soul? There has been such an abundance of evidence of physical healings through prayer that we should not deny the possibility. Still those all who have recovered from ailments of the flesh eventually die. Their cures are meant to sustain our hope in the victory over death and to live giving praise to God for it.