Wednesday of Easter Week

Lectionary: 263


He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.

When Ebenezer Scrooge woke on Christmas morning after four successive nightmares, discovering that he was alive and still had time to reform his miserable life, he went shopping.

When our beggar in Acts 3 was healed in the Name of Jesus, “He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.”

The beggar’s entering the Temple completes Jesus’ work. Scrooge’s purchase of a turkey for the Cratchet family may indeed lead him back to God, but that remains to be seen. Dickens was a marvelous novelist but not an evangelist; he wrote A Christmas Carol to promote gift giving, not worship.

In this story we also see the Holy Spirit at work. First, it rushed upon Peter and John as they commanded the beggar to “Look at us.” Did Peter know what he was going to do next? Had he come out that afternoon to try his hand at faith healing?

Apparently not; the impulses to command the beggar first to look at us and then to stand up came upon him unexpectedly. Perhaps he saw the man, remembered Jesus under similar circumstances and acted.
Suddenly the Spirit rushed upon the beggar and he stood up – much to his own surprise – and began first to walk and then to leap about.
The mission of the Holy Spirit, among other things, is to heal. God’s healing doesn’t simply restore one to a previous condition; it takes one further into life. This beggar along with his friends and family was stronger, more agile and happier than he had ever known. How could he keep from singing, leaping and dancing?

The Pascal Mystery of Easter -- from the Last Supper to Pentecost -- announces the presence and work of the Father, the Son and the Spirit in our world and in our lives. We see God's presence clearly in our own lives as we maintain a cheerful, generous presence in a world that tends to dreariness. They may not know it but they need us. 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.