HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture by Frederick Justus Knecht D.D.

[Acts 3, and 4:1–22]

ONE day, Peter and John were going up to the Temple to pray. There was at the gate called the Beautiful, a man who was lame from his birth, and who was carried every day to the gate of the Temple to beg alms from those who went in. Seeing Peter and John, he asked them for an alms. But Peter said to him: “Silver and gold I have none, but what I have I give thee: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Then having taken the man by the right hand, Peter lifted him up, and immediately his feet and soles became firm. Then leaping up, he stood and walked, and entered with them into the Temple, praising and blessing God.

All the people were filled with amazement to see the lame man leaping and walking.

But Peter said to them: “Ye men of Israel, why wonder you at this? or why look you upon us as if by our strength we had made this man to walk? The God of our fathers hath glorified His Son Jesus, whom you delivered up to death, but Pilate judged He should be released; but you denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you, but the Author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. The faith which is by Him has given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all. I know that you did it through ignorance. Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out!” Many of those who heard these words were converted.

And while the apostles were yet speaking to the people, the priests and the officers of the Temple came and laid hands on them and cast them into prison, where they remained till the following day.

Then the chief priests and the ancients had the apostles brought before them and asked: “By what power or in whose Name have you done this?” Peter answered: “Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the Name of our Lord Jesus of Nazareth whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand before you whole. This (Jesus) is the stone which was rejected by you the builders: which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other Name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.”

The chief priests and the ancients ordered Peter and John to be taken out, and said one to another: “What shall we do to these men? for a miracle, indeed, hath been done by them, conspicuous to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; it is manifest, and we cannot deny it. But that it may be no further divulged among the people, let us threaten them, that they speak no more in this Name to any man.”

Then, calling the two apostles, they charged them not to speak at all in the Name of Jesus. But they answered them, saying: “If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge you, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

The doctrine of the Divinity of Jesus Christ was taught by Peter in word and deed. He called Him the Son of God, and the Author of life; and he proved it by the great miracle worked in His Name, for were He not God, His Name would have been powerless to work the miracle.

The difference between cur Lord’s own miracles, and those of the apostles. Jesus worked miracles in His own Name, and by His own power. He said to the young man of Naim: “Young man, I say to thee, arise!” and by the power of His almighty word the dead came back to life. The apostles, on the contrary, did not work miracles in their own name, but in the Name of Jesus. Thus Peter said to the lame man: “In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” This word of Peter was not almighty, but on account of Peter’s faith Jesus willed to use His Omnipotence to cure the lame man.

The object of the apostolic miracles. God willed, by the miracles which the apostles worked, or rather which He worked through them, to prove to the world that they were sent by Him, and taught the truth in His Name. Their miracles were intended to confirm their doctrine, so that by them the world might believe this doctrine. “They (the apostles), going forth, preached everywhere: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed” (Mark 16:20).

Jesus is the Author of life. He is the only Saviour of the world, and it is only through faith in Him and His teaching that we can obtain grace and salvation. He Himself said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh to the Father but by Me!” (John 14:6.)

The limit of obedience to temporal authority. Jesus Himself submitted to authority and by His example taught obedience to His apostles. And yet, when summoned before the Council, both apostles declared that it would be wrong for them to obey the command given them to preach no more in the Name of Jesus! How was this? Why did they refuse obedience to this command? Because the Council required obedience in a matter which was obviously against the will of God. Jesus, to whom was given all power in heaven and earth, before His Ascension, had expressly commanded them to preach faith in Him to Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles; and had, by the wonderful cure of the man born lame, testified that they were sent by Him to teach with His authority. The command of the Council was, therefore, in direct contradiction to the command of their Divine Lord, and on that account they refused to obey it, saying that they must obey God rather than men; and they continued to preach and teach as Jesus had commanded them to do.

The following Virtues were exercised by the apostles in the story we have just heard:

1. Firm faith. Peter did not doubt for an instant that all he had to do to cure the lame man was to invoke the holy Name of Jesus. He trusted implicitly in the truth of our Lord’s words: “Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it you” (John 16:23).

2. Courageous confession of their faith before the Sanhedrim.

3. Humility. The apostles declined all glory for themselves, proclaiming loudly that it was not they, but the Lord Jesus, who had cured the lame man. They therefore gave glory to God.

4. Zeal for God’s glory and for the salvation of souls. This zeal drove them to preach faith in Christ Jesus before the assembled multitude, to declare their sins, and urge them to do penance. It was no blind or harsh zeal, but was united with

5. Prudence and indulgence. They called these Jews their “brethren”, and for fear of driving them to despair judged their crime leniently, and did what they could to excuse it.

6. Fortitude. The apostles suffered no threats to turn them from the exercise of their apostolic office.

APPLICATION. See how zealous the apostles were for God’s glory! Do you rather seek God’s glory than your own? Are you not full of vanity about your capabilities? Suppress every movement of vanity; say nothing in praise of yourself, and often renew this intention in all your actions: “O Jesus, I will do everything for Thee!”








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com