Peter and the other disciples confidently walk among the needy, bringing them life and healing in the name of the Risen Jesus. “Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.” (Acts 5, 15) Healing is a sign of the resurrection.
Our readings from The Acts of the Apostles for the next few days are about the cure of a crippled man in the temple. (Acts 3, 1-4, 37) Peter and John meet the man begging at the temple gate. “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, get up and walk,” Peter says, and the man got up and “went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.”
Jesus began his ministry in Galilee with dramatic healings like that. Peter’s mother in law was among the first he healed on the momentous day he came to Capernaum. (Mark 1, 29-32) Wonder and excitement quickly spread, people flocked to him, but soon opponents began to question and finally try to stop the Nazorean.
His followers continue his healing mission after his resurrection. “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean” Peter and the rest move others to believe and join them by signs of healing; they also face the reaction Jesus faced when he healed. They face opposition.
An important witness of God’s presence in the early church, is healing still important in our age which trusts so much in modern medicine and the latest drugs and treatments? Pope Francis recently called the church a “field hospital.”A reminder that the church must never abandon it’s mission to be a healing church, witnessing to the resurrection of Jesus, praying for and caring for and sustaining those in need.
The Acts of the Apostles is a template for looking at our church today as well as the church of the past.