Beggar to believer- Wednesday in the Octave of Easter- Acts 3:1-10

Beggar to believer- Wednesday in the Octave of Easter- Acts 3:1-10

The narration of the healing of the crippled beggar by Peter and John, and the subsequent address by Peter in Solomon’s portico will be taken up by the lectionary in two parts. Today we will hear the miracle, and tomorrow the homily. These actions on the part of Peter and John will lead to the first persecution in the Church.

While in chapter two we hear in a generalised way “that many signs and wonders were done”, here is the first recorded miracle performed by the apostles. If you look at the pattern of this healing story, it is typical of a miracle story in the life of Jesus. It is interesting to note how the Church follows Christ, as it should be.

We are told that Peter and John enter the temple at three pm which was one of the three hours of prayer for a pious Jew, and it is here that they see a man who was lame from birth being carried in. We are told that the cripple is laid at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful gate.

Let us talk a bit about this gate which Josephus the historian records. He says this gate was called the ‘Nicanor’ gate and was seventy five feet high and made out of Corinthian bronze. It was a gate that separated the court of the woman from the court of the men or Israel. Fifteen steps led to the court of the women, and it was here that the cripple was placed.

Scripture also tells us that this man was begging from people ‘entering the temple’; technically he is ‘outside the temple’. He has not come as a worshipper but as one seeking charity. He asks Peter and John for alms and so we can surmise that he was not looking for a healing, he was looking for a hand-out.  Interestingly after his healing he ‘enters’ the temple as a worshipper and a man of faith.

Note also that nowhere does it say that the cripple had faith in Jesus; he may have had no faith at all. His healing by Peter and John is not based on the merits of the cripple’s faith; the healing is grated as a free gift from God. Healings are a sovereign work of God and we must acknowledge that God can choose to heal any one, believer or non-believer. In this case we don’t know the faith of the cripple but we do know his response to his healing.

Having being healed, this cripple ‘enters the temple’ (twice we are told), and scripture records that he was ‘praising God’. Unlike the nine lepers in the Gospel, this man remembers God’s mercy and is now not only a believer but quite a demonstrative proclaimer.

So what is our take away from scripture? Each of us, at some time in our life has experienced a healing, spiritual or physical. This healing has brought us closer to the worshipping community like the cripple. To be included into the worshipping community is to experience a form of healing.

We can choose therefore to be welcoming of those sitting at the gate in need of healing and be instruments of healing, or on the other hand we may identify ourselves with the cripple who has been healed for no merit of our own. In the Easter season the Lord reminds and invites us to be His instruments of healing. Like Peter and John we may not have silver and gold to distribute but we do have the name of Jesus.

Fr Warner D’Souza

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8 thoughts on “Beggar to believer- Wednesday in the Octave of Easter- Acts 3:1-10”

  • The focus is always ‘moving closer to God’ ! And God know us even before we say thanks to him. This crippled man did just that. From begging to believing.I thank God for the miracle of my daughter Janice. I totally love HIM and thank Him. I have begged to be strong in my trials and I believe in HIS miracle of my Janice.. I am happy I believe in I AM.

    Reply
    • There are certain points that came to my mind when I read the scripture. 1st is the Gate, and it’s name. The v fact the gate was mentioned and it’s name, there has to be something spectacular about it. I was wondering what this gate would be like. Your reflection did mention about the intensity and the magnitude of the Gate. Indeed it is beautiful!

      Secondly, I was wondering, who carried this crippled man daily. That means there was someone to carry this man daily. Thank God for these men, who brought this man, otherwise he would not have encountered St. Peter and At. John.

      Above all, How intense were the look of the Apostle. I wonder what telepathy they were having with the Lord… Like did they have a Bluetooth, ” yes, this is the man, he needs to be healed, and HEAL.”

      I hope I meet St. Peter at the Gates of heaven. I hope I am able to heal the wounds by forgiveness and faith. Faith of a mustered seed and continue “Praising God” for the continuous miracle happening in our lives that we cannot see with the Human eyes.

      Thank you Fr. Warner for the wonderful insights and teachings. May God bless you abundantly. 🌼

      Reply
  • This reflection is beautiful. I am often puzzled, whether I am grateful enough for all that God does for me. It reminds me of sharing the blessings of my daily life s a testimony to others, not necessarily on stage, but a simple chat with my friends… It’s important to acknowledge the blessings and healing that we experience. ☺

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  • Michelle Coutinho · Edit

    Shalom! I was touched by the words, ‘enters’ the temple… and ‘to be included into the worshipping community is to experience a form of healing, ‘ this aspect skipped me as I focused more on the miracle! It’s a very human emotion to want to feel included, needed, sheltered. …secure in love! When the Lord heals He really, leads us to experience love, joy , peace on earth itself, found in communitarian life, KoG out here itself. Thank you Lord!

    This morning I was struggling n feeling frustrated with my son’s studies. ..so we paused n I prayed thanking Jesus for his disinterest, boredom etc in science n ended by asking for the grace to continue in spite of all these feelings. My 11 year old was shocked at my prayer. Thank you Jesus the chapter was done n over in no time. Praise God!

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  • God can chose to heal anyone, believer or non believer….
    How beautiful! And yet there’s soo much talk by many that if one does not receive healing, it is only due to lack of faith..
    He can choose to heal first and increase the faith later or the other way round…wonder how some ppl chose to decide this on God’s behalf 🙂
    Thankyou for highlighting this Fr.

    Reply
  • What touched me most is that God chooses to heal both believers and non-believers. And that’s why we see people of other faiths throng to churches. To receive the healing of mind and heart.
    Thank you Father for such insight. God bless

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  • God can heal a believer or a non-believer!
    What is important is faith! It doesn’t matter whose faith. At Cana, Mary’s Faith in her Son. The faith of four friends for the paralytic. The faith of Bartaemeus himself for his healing. The Roman officer for his servant, the faith of the haemoraging woman herself and many different cases.
    But when Jesus heals, He does a wholesome treatment. He heals both body and soul! First, “your sins are forgiven.” Then, “take up your mat and walk.”

    Do we believe in intercession? Let us not wait for the patient to believe. Let us, as friends in Christ, pray for each other. Then glorify the Lord and proclaim his Goid News.

    Christ is merciful to both believer as well as non-believer.

    Reply

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