Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Why are you amazed at this?"

From the Hermitage

Thursday of Easter week - 2014

Dear Friends,

A question:  How sincere are many, perhaps most Christians, particularly our sisters and brothers of the Roman Catholic religion, in their understanding and practice of hope, of genuine trust that petitions for themselves or other made to God will be granted by him?

The story, related to humankind by St. Luke in the scripture verses of Acts of the Apostles, chapter 3, verses 1-26, is an instance of one's man's faith in God and another's conversion to belief in Jesus Christ, instilled in the man's heart by Peter and John.  Apparently for many days and perhaps years the crippled man would be taken to Solomon's Portico to beg alms from those at the Temple.  When Peter and John saw the man, Peter said to him: I have neither silver or gold but what I do have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazorean, walk!"

And then it happened:  Peter gave him "his hand to life him up and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.  He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the Temple with them ... praising God."  It was a miracle!  It was a man's faith and Peter's belief and trust in the power of Jesus, the Risen Lord, that brought about the miracle.

To the Jewish people who rushed Peter and John in a state of utter amazement, Peter asked, "You, Isrealites, why are you amazed at this?"

Genuine faith, that is a genuine belief in the Son of God  that was in the mind and heart of three men (Peter, John, and the crippled man) God used to teach those who were in the Temple that day that it is our faith in Jesus Christ that can bring about the miraculous.  It is this faith which can be more powerful, at times, that the powers of doctors and medicines.  A person's surrender to the will of God often times makes the cure of seeming impossibility a reality.

If we Christians are truly committed to God's will for us, our willingness to surrender all we want or the way we live, perhaps we would encounter for ourselves and others the power of God's miraculous intervention on behalf of our petitions especially for others.

Just a thought:  do I really believe in Jesus Christ? [pause for an answer] and the teachings of his life?  Do I surrender my sinful ways to live my life as God wishes?  Am I willing to examine my faults and sins and then sincerely make the effort to abandon them?  Do I allow the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Church empower me to be his messenger, his bearer of remarkable deeds?

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt