(Part 33)



April 28, 2011

Today’s reading: Acts 3:11-26

On our 30th year, after being prepared by God through the years, including the Lessons of Lamentations and the Lessons of Job, God offers us the fullness of His strength for us to do His work. Though Jesus has already done everything that needs to be done in order to win salvation for  humanity, in the mystery of God’s ways, we (and all Christians) are called to continue with that work of redemption, by proclaiming it to the world. We step into the very sandals of Jesus, and we will be given the very power of the resurrection by which Jesus won our salvation.

Peter averred: “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus” (Acts 3:13a). This brings to fulfillment the words of the prophet Isaiah, ultimately applicable to Jesus: “You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory.” (Is 49:3). Now we too are God’s servants, through whom God intends to manifest His glory, through our work in His strength.

God’s strength is of course God’s. But God provides His very own strength for His people to accomplish His very own work. This was the very promise of Jesus: “But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

The apostles proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus, saying, “of this we are witnesses.” (Acts 3:15b). And what accompanied their proclamation was power. Peter healed the crippled beggar. Those who saw were amazed, and Peter had to say, “why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?” (Acts 3:12b).

And that strength passed on to the healed beggar. “And by his faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong” (Acts 3:16a).

Jesus’ resurrection was a manifestation of God’s power and strength. That same strength is passed on to the servants God calls, and their work again passes on that strength into the lives of the people whom God touches and gifts with salvation.

As such, the glory of God is shown, not just through Jesus whom God raised (Is 49:3), not just through the servants whom God uses (Is 49:5c), but through the lives of people who experience the saving hand of God. God intends His salvation, won by Jesus on the cross, to reach the ends of the earth (Is 49:6e, Acts 1:8c), and for that God appoints and anoints His instruments and makes them a light to the nations (Is 49:5d).

What an amazing work God does in and through His people! Such is the importance of our work, and such is the importance of taking on the fullness of God’s strength.

God formed us as His servant from the womb (Is 49:1b,5a), raised us and used us through the years (Is 49:6b), brought us back to Himself when we veered away (Is 49:5b), restored us as CFC-FFL to the authentic CFC charism (Is 49:6c), gives us the commission to do worldwide mission (Is 49:6d), and will manifest His glory through us and our work (Is 49:5c). All these as we take on the fullness of the very strength of God (Is 49:5d).

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