Daily Homily: Jesus Stood in Their Midst

Thursday Within the Octave of Easter

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Acts 3:11-26
Psalm 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9
Luke 24:35-48

In the Gospel, Jesus appears to the disciples in Jerusalem. He eats a piece of fish in their presence to prove that he is not a ghost. Just as he opened the minds of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, so now he opens the minds of the disciples to understand how he fulfills the Scriptures: the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms. These scriptures look forward to the day when the Servant of the Lord would suffer for their sins and be glorified by God, having learned obedience. Through his passion the Servant wipes away the sins of the people and, through his witnesses, his message of forgiveness reaches the ends of the earth, to all nations.

After receiving the Holy Spirit, the apostles are empowered to be witnesses to Jesus. Yesterday, we heard about their prayer life and their ministry to the sick. Today, Peter explains the healing of the crippled man. Peter emphasizes that he is only an instrument of God, for God is the one who truly heals (Exodus 15:26). The same God, who revealed himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, continues to act in them through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. «The healing is a sign that God has glorified his servant Jesus» (Kurz, Acts of the Apostles, 3:13). The man was healed by the power of the name of Jesus. Faith in this name restored the man to perfect health. «This underscores the importance of faith in Jesus for healing» (Kurz, Acts of the Apostles, 3:16). The name of the Lord God is praised in today’s psalm. God is praised as he cares for man and crowns him with glory and honor.

Peter recognizes that the people were ignorant when they crucified Jesus, but that they can no longer claim ignorance: «There is a greater culpability for those who continue to reject Jesus after hearing the apostolic testimony that he has been raised from the dead» (Kurz, Acts of the Apostles, 3:17). Jesus’ death on the Cross was not proof that he was cursed by God (Deuteronomy 21:23), but rather that it was part of God’s plan that Jesus suffer and willingly take upon himself the curse that man inherited from Adam.

Peter concludes his speech with a call to conversion and the promise that their sins would be wiped away. Jesus is the prophet-like-Moses, the people cannot reject him (Deuteronomy 18:15-20) and must obey him. Those who accept Jesus become part of the new people of God (Kurz, Acts of the Apostles, 3:22-23) and become the beneficiaries of God’s covenant promises to Abraham to bless all nations through his descendants.

Readers may contact Father Jason Mitchell at mitchelljason2011@gmail.com.

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Jason Mitchell

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