Memory of the Church

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Feast of St. Charles Lwanga who with twelve companions suffered martyrdom in Uganda (1886). Memory of Blessed John XXIII.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 3,11-26

Everyone came running towards them in great excitement, to the Portico of Solomon, as it is called, where the man was still clinging to Peter and John.

When Peter saw the people he addressed them, 'Men of Israel, why are you so surprised at this? Why are you staring at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or holiness?

It is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, who has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and then disowned in the presence of Pilate after he had given his verdict to release him.

It was you who accused the Holy and Upright One, you who demanded that a murderer should be released to you

while you killed the prince of life. God, however, raised him from the dead, and to that fact we are witnesses;

and it is the name of Jesus which, through faith in him, has brought back the strength of this man whom you see here and who is well known to you. It is faith in him that has restored this man to health, as you can all see.

'Now I know, brothers, that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing;

but this was the way God carried out what he had foretold, when he said through all his prophets that his Christ would suffer.

Now you must repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out,

and so that the Lord may send the time of comfort. Then he will send you the Christ he has predestined, that is Jesus,

whom heaven must keep till the universal restoration comes which God proclaimed, speaking through his holy prophets.

Moses, for example, said, "From among your brothers the Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me; you will listen to whatever he tells you.

Anyone who refuses to listen to that prophet shall be cut off from the people."

In fact, all the prophets that have ever spoken, from Samuel onwards, have predicted these days.

'You are the heirs of the prophets, the heirs of the covenant God made with your ancestors when he told Abraham, "All the nations of the earth will be blessed in your descendants".

It was for you in the first place that God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you as every one of you turns from his wicked ways.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Peter gave dignity back to that lame man who had been begging at the gate of the temple for years. Healed from his sickness, the man jumps for joy and runs through the esplanade of the sacred place. The extraordinary event astonished the crowd and they all came running towards Peter and John, thinking that the two apostles had healed the man. But the apostle, so distant from the self-promotion each of us knows all too well, immediately clarified that the miracle was the work of God not their work. It is the second great speech of Peter that the Acts report. This time it was pronounced in the temple, in the Solomon’s Portico. Obviously this is not a place chosen by chance. The apostle was in the very heart of Judaism, where the Jews used to pray every day. Immediately, Peter clarified to "all the people" that gathered that God is the One who heals. They did not perform the miracle. The Lord is strong and powerful. He uses the disciples as his tools to work among men and women. Therefore they are nothing but servants of his word and of his strength that transforms and heals. Only if they are linked to the Lord they share his strength. Maybe the apostle remembered right in that moment Jesus’ words to the apostles before leaving them: "The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these" (Jn 14:12). It is the Father who is in heaven the author of victory of good over evil. The apostle added that He showed it in a definitive way when he raised Jesus from the dead. It is in the name of the risen that the crippled man was raised with all his dignity. We are not in front of magic that amaze us, but in front of God who started to show his might through the name of Jesus who defeated death. It is the re-proposition of God’s problem through the event of the Son’s resurrection. The new time of God, the time of the definitive victory of good over evil has started with the resurrection of Jesus. The healing of the lame man is a sign of the kingdom of God that was starting on earth. This is why the apostle asked his listeners to recognize the event, to repent and change their lives, that is, to welcome that Jesus who had been crucified, but whom the Father had raised from the dead as the first of the entire creation, and to follow his teachings.