While reflecting on today’s first reading, my thoughts go to a St. Louis County electrical inspector with whom I’ve had more than one or two lengthy conversations with – I will simply refer to him as Mr. T. Mr. T profess’ no formal religion that he follows but he is a man truly on fire with the Spirit. When you first meet him at a job site and you ask “Mr. T – how are you?”, he will reply without hesitation “I am righteous.” In one of my most recent conversations with him, he made a rather bold statement – that, in the name of Christ, he has personally healed more than one person. In his various travels around the County doing his routine electrical inspections, he is not shy about talking to the people who are there for the inspection. If he senses something might be wrong, he’ll ask them whatever it is that is troubling them. He will follow that up with permission to “lay hands on them” and offer a healing prayer in the name of God. Doing this, Mr. T claims to have healed more than one person. He takes no credit but offers God as the miracle worker through him. Mr. T also claims that we all have this healing power if we are truly righteous and believe in the good news shared with us in Bible. I know this sounds strange – I still have doubt about the truth of his statements, but then I read yesterdays reading from the Acts of the Apostles (3:1-10)…
Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, 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
at what had happened to him.
That reading is carried further today (3:11-26)…
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.”
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
“You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
Is Mr. T onto something here? My thoughts are now drawn to MK 16:15-20 (NASB):
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 These [a]signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the [b]signs that followed.]
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. Something to think long and hard about my friends.
In that light, please keep the following in your prayers:
Diane Williams. I work with her husband Steve (who is our safety director). She had had complications from surgery and died suddenly on Monday afternoon. May her soul, and the souls of all the just, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Please keep Steve and his family in your prayers as they cope with the loss of Diane.
My daughter Grace has asked we prayer for a client of hers who started chemo yesterday for breast cancer.
And, please pray for my daughter Grace, who is scheduled to give birth to my first granddaughter on the 10th of April.
Day 7 – Divine Mercy Novena:
Intention: Today bring to Me THE SOULS WHO ESPECIALLY VENERATE AND GLORIFY MY MERCY, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.
Novena Prayers: Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:
Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory.
Christ has risen from the dead…Alleluia
God’s will, not mine be done.
Be not afraid.
Jesus, I trust in you.