Thursday within the Octave of Easter
(Acts 3:11-26; Luke 24:35-48)
“What’s in a name?” Juliet asks, “that which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” She will learn that a name contains more than commonly imagined. Names identify people both as individuals and as members of an association. Invoking a name in a situation can bring the power of the person or association to bear on it. In today’s first reading Peter tells the Jews that the paralytic was healed by faith in the name of Jesus.
Peter and John have just healed the man begging near the Temple gate. Now Peter launches into one of the sermons in Acts that is considered paradigmatic of Christian preaching. In other words, all Christian preachers should not only imitate its conviction but also its claims. Peter has no reservations that Jesus’ death and resurrection are the source of new life. People have only to repent of their sins and call upon his name to inherit eternal life.
More and more people today are searching for their identities in their DNA. They want to know who they are by associating themselves with particular real estates. Of course, it is interesting but it is hardly conclusive and holds little prospect for the future. We are far better off to associate ourselves with the name of our Redeemer. In Jesus we are adopted daughters and sons of God. He bestows on us the destiny of eternal life. Like the paralytic in his name we are made whole.