Another great story from Acts 3 for our first reading today. We’ll talk about that in a moment. The Gospel reading from Luke 24 is one of the most interesting stories in the New Testament. It is the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. After spending time with Jesus and not recognizing him for quite some time, Jesus makes himself known to them in the breaking of the bread. A wonderful example of our Eucharistic Lord.
Peter and John meet up with a crippled beggar in the temple area. The lame beggar thinks that they are going to give him some money. But Peter says to him, “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.” And the guy starts jumping around praising God. Sound like a familiar pattern? Peter is doing just what Christ did. Not so much in the fact that he healed the lame beggar, but that he gave him something unexpected and much more valuable than what he thought he needed.
I don’t know about you, but I often wish I had a lot more money. I see so many needs that I would love to help with. But you can’t give what you ain’t got. Peter makes this clear. Sometimes all we can do is offer up our prayers. When we can’t meet someone’s physical needs, this often seems like a lame alternative. But it is truly the greater gift. It’s clear that we must offer physical assistance when we can. But when we can’t, don’t sweat it. Just give what you have.
Father, you know that we often don’t have all that we would like to give. But our prayers can be infinite, and infinitely powerful. Help us to give generously of our spiritual gifts. Amen.