Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday in Easter Week - 2012

Peter and John are still will the cured, once crippled, man.  They use the miraculous moment to instruct the Jewish people who continued to struggle with the reality of the Resurrection and the power Jesus had handed on to the apostles.  They wanted to assure the Jewish people present for the event that is was in Jesus' name that the beggar man had received new health.

They also wanted the Jewish people to realize that God, Yahweh, was 'glorified' through the actions of Jesus in his Resurrection and Ascension.  In their teaching the apostles brought to the Jews a notion that was difficult to accept.  These Old Testament people were expecting a Messiah King, not someone who would be described as a 'servant.'  Peter told the crowd that it was through the faith of the crippled man that his health had been restored.

Peter, in his way, chides the Jews for failing to recognize the teachings of so many of the prophets who foretold what kind of person this Messiah would be.  Presented with a "suffering servant," the Jews were confused.  This was not what they expected or wanted.  They were given a gift in the words of all the prophets but it was a word they could not understand or would not see as what they expected.  Peter and John were bringing to the Jews the true message of God's covenant promise to them.  And they wondered just how they could do this; how they could accept this covenant promise from God.

In the message from Peter and John there is the call for them to recognize the covenant through the life and death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.  He is the savior who has called them to "metanoia," a genuine, heart-felt conversion from their previous ways of living.  Peter and John were truly the beginning of the evangelizing that would permeate the teachings in the Church of Jesus Christ throughout the centuries.

We are called to realize that this same message is what is given to us today.  In addition to the Old Testament prophets, we might ask ourselves a simple question:  "What is the message of evangelization being given to us in this 21st century?"  Furthermore, who are the messengers calling us to walk the walk with Jesus Christ?