by M. J. Joachim
Community prayer is an essential element of being Christian. Gathering together at set times is necessary, because people are social beings. We literally need each other to survive.
In Acts 3: 1 – 10, The Cure of a Crippled Beggar, we see how even the marginalized members of our society remain such a vital part of it. While we don’t know who places the beggar at “the Beautiful Gate,” we are told that he is carried there daily to beg for alms.
We are also told that Peter and John have nothing (tangible) to give him. This verse stands out mightily to me. It reminds me of the power of prayer, and how there is always something to give to those in need. It emphasizes true Christian values, which rightfully de-emphasize monetary items and success as the world defines it.
What strikes me even more though, is the response and reactions to gifts of the heart. Just look at the crippled beggar’s response!
“He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.”
I believe it is also important to notice that Peter and John were clearly seen as messengers, while God was recognized as the true giver of the gifts received, by the beggar.
Acts 3: 1 – 10 (As written in the New American Catholic Bible)
Cure of a Crippled Beggar
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple area for the three o’clock hour of prayer. And a man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day to beg for alms from the people who entered into the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. 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. He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with amazement and astonishment at what had happened to him.
JUST THE FACTS
How long had the beggar been crippled, before he was healed?
What physical actions did Peter take, when he healed the beggar?
How did all the people respond to this miracle?
The crippled beggar had help getting to the Beautiful Gate each day.
Peter and John were “put off” when the beggar asked for alms, because they had nothing to give him.
The beggar was disappointed when Peter and John couldn’t give him any alms.
Peter performed the miracle in the Name of Jesus Christ.
All the people recognized the beggar, after the miracle happened to him.
Soul Searching Internalization
What do you need or crave from others in your community? Has God given you this gift in a way you might not recognize?
Is community prayer an integral part of your community life, and is your community an important part of your prayer life? How can you balance prayer and community together, so they feed and build up each other respectively in your own life?
Many of us use the Internet and social media almost, if not, every day. We make friends, socializing and sharing our lives with numerous people throughout the world. Take some time to notice who might truly need that friendship and communication you offer through your social media interactions. Try to be extra responsive to their needs, giving them whatever you have to give, even if it is only recognition or a kind response to what they share.
Games & Puzzles
Name the synonym used in the Bible passage.
Uncode these words.
The FINAL WORD
So many people need our prayers these days. Reflect on who might need help in your community and beyond. Make a prayer basket and place it in a prominent place in your home. Fill it with individual pieces of paper, listing everyone you can think of who might need your prayers; then, bring one person (or group of people) with you each time you go to community prayer – be it at Mass, prayer groups or community gatherings. Hold that person (or people) in your hand and your heart, as you pray for daily needs to be met.
As always, I’ll see you tomorrow with the answers to the questionsJ
Have a fabulous day, everyone!
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Photo Credits: U. S. Navy, Public Domain; Distance Shore Media, Creative Commons Attribution; Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain; U. S. Navy, Public Domain