Lord, thank you for having rescued me! Let me walk in joyful hope that you will take care of me today.

Today’s first reading really reminded me that sometimes, life may throw you lemons when you were expecting oranges, and while you were not expecting lemons you still have to make juice. The man in the first reading understood this concept very well. He was a cripple that had to live off of the monetary charity of others because he was unable to work.  However, he had faith that Peter and John would help him by donating money.  But the man received something so much better.

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. –Acts 3:1-10

Rather than getting money, he truly received a better gift, he received the gift to walk and work. He could be an independent man, and not rely on the charity of others. He was so amazed and excited that he followed the men into the temple, all the while praising God. People were naturally shocked and in awe to see this man jumping around and praising God at the top of his lungs. How this could be done is truly a miracle!

While I cannot guarantee that anyone reading this reflection will miraculously be healed, richer, smarter, or whatever each of us long for, I can guarantee that if you have faith good things tend to work themselves out. As I said, sometimes the results may not be what we are looking for, but they happen for a reason. So it is fine to have expectations and hope for things, but don’t be surprised if God and life throws you a few curve balls.

In the readings today, both St. Peter and St. Paul rejoice in God’s rescue of them. God’s rescue of St. Peter was so dramatic that Peter thought it all was a dream until the angel left him and he was outside of the prison.  St Paul writes of an equally dramatic rescue from the lion’s mouth by the Lord.

As dramatic as these rescues sound, they also underscore the truth that each of us can rely on God. Of course, we know that we have been rescued from sin and death through Jesus’ resurrection. But if we were to look closely, we would discover numerous day-to-day examples of how God has rescued us. What about that time you were feeling downcast because of some huge problem in your life—and the Holy Spirit filled you with hope and lifted your spirits? Or when you real­ized at the last minute that a deci­sion you were going to make could lead you into sin, and you changed your mind?

Remember that the name Jesus means “God saves.” He didn’t come to save you from sin and then just leave you to figure out the rest of your life. No, He came to show you how to live under His protection. He came so that, even if you did find yourself in a perilous situation, you would not panic but would turn to His Spirit for wisdom and guidance and peace.

Never lose sight of how much Jesus loves you. In prayer today, join with the psalmist—and with Peter and Paul—in rejoicing in the Lord, who is your Savior today and every day!  The words of the psalm express how we can follow their example:
“Look to Him that you may be radiant in joy and your faces may not blush with shame.”



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