Monday, April 6, 2020
As we take our first steps into Holy Week, we are in the temple with Peter and John. As they make their way into the temple through the Beautiful Gate, there is a man who has been carried there every day so he might beg alms from the passersby. He has been unable to walk his whole life. Both Peter and John look intently at him and then Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he walks … he dances … into the temple. The people in the temple are amazed at what they see.
Peter addresses the people and challenges them to see what they have missed in their disregard for Jesus, for Jesus came to people just like this. Peter advocated for the poor and healed those with infirmities. His was a healing that happened at a deeply spiritual level, but it also had a deeply relational quality about it, as well. This man, as I have noted before, is one of the invisible ones. He sat there waiting to be seen as human. Peter addressed him as a child of God and offered him the gift that was more valuable than silver or gold. It was the gift to stand up … to walk … to dance. He was no longer invisible, but he was healed.
So now Peter addresses the crowd. They have had the chance to know the real Jesus … the one who came as God’s anointed. They instead participated in his death by denying him the solidarity Jesus himself had offered them. They chose the criminal to be released. They stood by and watched Jesus die without so much as a word. Further, Peter tells them that the healing they are witnessing is a healing that comes only through the name of Jesus.
It is interesting that they would have been standing in the very temple where Jesus himself taught … where he offered a new way to see God … where he had offered healing and hope. So this week, we are told this is not the last word on the life of Jesus. It is just the beginning!
May we see Christ, O Lord, as he heals us and offers us hope. Amen.