Our First Reading this week is Acts 3:12-19.
When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
The Book of Acts tells us that after seeing the risen Lord the disciples were energized and shared bold testimony among the people. These men who were hidden behind locked doors after the crucifixion now gladly tell the story of Jesus to the crowds. Jesus showed them that God’s promise was real and they took up His work with joy.
We often live in fear of the challenges we face -worldwide health and economic issues, divisions between us, concerns for the future. Jesus and the disciples tell us that while these things are real, we can rely on our loving God. Why would He make the effort to save us if there was no hope?
Following in Christ’s footsteps, faithful people have shared the Good News around the world. We are called to the same task, letting others know the joy we have found in our relationship with God. Like the first disciples we must throw off our fear and go in the name of Jesus to make disciples of all nations.
Loving Lord, we are weak and unsure on our own, but You send Your comfort and strength to encourage us. Help us to be the disciples of today, faithful and unafraid to share Your love. Amen.