thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Wednesday of the Octave of Easter
readings may be found here
Today we hear about the miraculous healing of a lame man in the Temple precincts. Peter and John came upon the man who was begging alms. Peter had no money for him, but “in the Name of Jesus Christ,” Peter commanded him to rise and walk. The man, now healed walked and leaped for joy. This scene is important first because it reveals the disciples of the Lord now participating in His work of healing and reconciliation. We should also notice that the miracle itself brings attention to the transformation that has occurred in the Peter and the other disciples. They were “lame” during the events of the Passion and even in the hours and days after the Resurrection. And yet now here they are courageously and openly proclaiming the Name of the Lord Jesus. They too have been healed and empowered. They too now walk in the way of the Lord and leap for joy that He lives.
The lengthy gospel passage relates the famous “Road to Emmaus” scene near the end of Luke’s Gospel. The passage is important for many reasons. The fact that these disciples recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread points to the central importance of the Eucharist in the ongoing life of discipleship. And today, I would like to draw our attention to the fact that Jesus appears to them as they are walking “on the road” or “on the way.” In the Gospel of Luke and Acts, “The Way” becomes the way that disciples of Jesus refer to their faith and their community. It is really an Old Testament metaphor as Israel was frequently called upon to walk in the “way of the Lord.” This name for the Christian life emphasizes the truth that faith is a way of living, an active participation and journey with and towards the Lord.
As the lame man leaps for joy, I wonder if we might take time today to rejoice that we who were once far off have been brought near by the grace of the Lord; we who once were lame have been healed and lifted up by His compassion and love. Maybe this Easter day is a good day to take a walk along the way and kick up our heals for joy!