In the Washington, DC area where I live I often pass people begging on the street corners. They have signs that say "unemployed" or "veteran" and then the sign usually has "God bless you." The social service agencies in this area tell us we should not give to the people on the street. Agencies would rather get them into the social service system so that they can help them more long term. Knowing that doesn't make it any easier to pass by the "street people" especially when it is obvious that they have some physical disability.
In Acts 3:1 - 4:13 we have the story of what happened when Peter and John decided not to pass by a crippled beggar. What did they do? "Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, 'Look at us!' So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them." No doubt Peter and John had passed by this man many times on their way into the temple to pray. But this time they stopped to actually look at him and for him to actually look them in the eye. Then Peter proclaimed the word of healing to the man by saying, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Peter gave him something much more precious than the money he was hoping to receive. Peter gave him a new life. And then Peter touched him. "Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God."
For reflection: Who do I pass by and not notice? Can I look them in the eye? How can I share God's love with them? Can I touch them? People are waiting for us to notice them, to touch their lives with healing.
Let us pray. Lord of Abundance, Lord of Healing, you have given me so much, help me to share your good news, your healing, your touch.
On fire with the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, Peter begins to preach to the multitude of Jews who have gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Weeks. Finally all doubt seems to be gone from the disciples about the meaning of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, and what they are now supposed to do about it. Peter, the fisherman, the guy who constantly puts his foot in his mouth, begins to preach (Acts 2:1-41).
These "God-fearing Jews" (verse 5) who were gathered in Jerusalem were from many nations (Egypt, Libya and Italy among others). The disciples baptized about 3000 of them that day (verse 41). When they returned home, no doubt they told their family and friends what had happened in Jerusalem. And so the news that the long-promised Jewish Messiah had finally come spread quickly. What joy there must have been. Was there dancing in the streets? Were celebrations held? Feasting and drinking and toasting?
For reflection: Many Christians experience great joy when they first come to know Jesus, but after a while it fades. Do I still have my first joy? If not, what is keeping me from it?
Let us pray. "Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds." (Psalm 149:2-5)
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.