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Easter Wednesday


In Acts 3: 1–10, we read of the lame man seeking alms in the temple. It is the hour of prayer, and he has seated himself at the Beautiful Gate, where worshippers would need to pass by and see him. He looks at Peter and Paul expectantly as they approach. “But Peter said to him, ‘I have no money at all, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!’”

Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord! (Psalm 105: 3)

In Acts 3: 1–10, we read of the lame man seeking alms in the temple. It is the hour of prayer, and he has seated himself at the Beautiful Gate, where worshippers would need to pass by and see him. He looks at Peter and Paul expectantly as they approach. “But Peter said to him, ‘I have no money at all, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!’” The lame man hoped for money, but what he got was so much more. We see him entering the temple, jumping up and down, praising God loudly. I think of game show contestants who jump up and down over having won a prize. Like them, the man is virtually bursting with gratitude.

In today's Gospel, we join Cleophas and his companions on the road to Emmaus. The big news of the day is the report of the women who went to the tomb of Jesus and found it empty. The disciples do not know what to make of this. They are on an emotional rollercoaster, filled with grief and disappointment over the death of Jesus, but also of wonder over the story of the women. As they walk and talk, they are met by a stranger who joins their conversation. He spends the miles explaining the scriptures to them regarding Jesus of Nazareth. They stop for supper and recognize Jesus when he breaks bread with them. They are so excited by their experience that they turn around immediately and retrace the miles they have come, to share their news with the Apostles.

There seems to be little that connects these two stories, but in each the lame man and the disciples are seeking something. The lame man receives the gift of wholeness in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. It is this same Jesus who takes away doubt and disappointment from the disciples, replacing them with joy and gratitude.

Jesus' gifts often outshine our hopes. He shows his love to us in countless large and small ways. Are we bursting with gratitude and joy? “Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!”

Sr. Mary Rose McCrate, C.PP.S. (Dayton)



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