The liturgical readings during the Easter Season aren't too shabby either. I love reading the Acts of the Apostles in particular. In those early days after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the emerging church had such energy, passion and life for living out the Gospel. They could do wonders, like the healing at the Beautiful Gate in today's first reading:
But Peter looked intently at [the man disabled from birth], as did John, and said, "Look at us." He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. Peter said, "I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk." Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong. He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
This morning as I was reading this passage, a new phrase jumped out at me ... "Look at us." Peter and John did not simply heal the man, they invited him into relationship. Think of all the times you have seen someone on the street corner with a sign, asking for assistance, looking forlorn. Have you ever noticed what happens when, even if you are not able or willing to give money, you look them in the eyes, smile and say hello. The humanity of both you and the other is renewed, all through the power of relationship. When Peter and John looked at the man they saw his human dignity, his desire and his potential. Perhaps he was enlivened, renewed, and decided to give walking another chance. Perhaps there was more of a supernatural physical healing--as I said, the early church had great energy, passion and life for living out the Gospel. In any case, we have this story that at the Beautiful Gate, the man engaged in conversation with Peter and John and then walked, jumped and praised God. It is worthy of reflection and application in our own contemporary reality and lives I think.
Then of course there is today's Gospel story of the two on the Road to Emmaus! Another favorite, worthy of oodles of reflection and contemplation. Riches galore await!
May you have a blessed Easter Season as you rediscover your own energy, passion and life for living out the Gospel.