Step #1 - Lectio / read
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.”
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
“You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health,
in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment
and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration
of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
For Moses said:
A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people.
“Moreover, all the prophets who spoke,
from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days.
You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways.”
Step #2 - Meditatio / Meditation
Yesterday, we heard the beautiful story where the crippled man is healed by Peter calling upon the name of Jesus. Today, we see what happens afterwards - as you might expect, the people are following Peter and John trying to see more miracles. What a clearly human thing this is to do, to run to the person who does something incredible and build them up to be more than they actually are.
Peter, realizing that the people are making him out to be more than just a follower of Christ, immediately addresses the crowds with the words we hear in this reading. Seizing the opportunity, Peter teaches the crowds about Jesus, starting with the events which recently happened, namely Jesus' arrest, crucifixion, and Resurrection, and using the Old Testament Prophets which the people would have understood so well to help expand on who Jesus was and is.
Right at the beginning of this interaction, Peter offers a rebuke to the crowds for the way that they are gathering around him and John, asking if they are doing this because they think that Peter and John healed this man using their own power or because of their holiness. These men, Peter and John, who knew Jesus so well, could easily have used this moment to keep the attention on them, but they do not do that - instead, they point the attention to the one whom they loved and followed, Jesus.
How often, in our lives, are we given the chance to point others' to Jesus? Most of us probably aren't healing crippled people, but by the way that we love and care for those around us we can often receive attention as being a good person or someone others go to for help. Jesus works amazing miracles through Peter and John because they realize that it is not about their own power, but about Jesus' power. They know that, if left to their own power, they will mess things (remember Peter denying Jesus three times?), and yet with the power of God behind them they are able to do incredible things.
Step #3 - Oratio / Pray
"Why do you look at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?"
Step #4 - Meditatio / meditation
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"Jesus, I long to experience your power in my life."
"Help me point those around me to you, Lord."
For the rest of your day...
What am I trying to do by my own power instead of relying on God's strength?
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This post was prepared by Jason Theobald.
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