Season of Refreshment
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Thursday in the Octave of Easter
“Reform yourselves! Turn to God, that your sins may be wiped away! Thus may a season of refreshment be granted you by the Lord.” (Acts 3:19-20)
Today’s readings reflect the conversion of Jesus’ disciples as the reality of Jesus and His resurrection penetrated their minds and lives. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles following the resurrection, Peter has just called on Jesus to cure a cripple at the gate of the temple. Peter used the stunned condition of the onlookers as a teaching moment. He first declared that Jesus, not Peter, healed the cripple. Then he declared that they, too, may find healing. This called for contrite hearts and faith in Jesus. “Reform yourselves! Turn to God, that your sins may be wiped away! Thus may a season of refreshment be granted you by the Lord,” Peter tells them. [We can all use a “season of refreshment” these days!]
This new “season of refreshment” granted by the Lord is more than a passing event. It has an ancestral and descendant character and obligation to it. “You are heirs of the covenant God made with your fathers when he said to Abraham, ‘In your offspring all the families of nations shall be blessed.’” (Acts 3:25)
In the Gospel we see that the apostles themselves struggled with assimilating the Jesus-resurrection mystery. Jesus appeared to them in the Upper Room and had to convince them that it was he indeed, risen and real. He asked for a bite to eat! He reminded them that their gift of knowing and believing in Him was not theirs to covet, but they were to go out and share the Good News that God’s mercy and reconciliation were there for all, not earned, but a gift delivered by way of Jesus. “Peace to you,” Jesus told the flabbergasted group; another expression of the “season of refreshment,”… complements of Jesus.
we thank You for Your saving grace as we celebrate Your resurrection.
May Your merciful gift accomplish in us a “season of refreshment”
today and always. Amen.
Sr. Lynn Marie Welbig
Board Member, Avera Sacred Heart
ACTS 3:11-26 • PSALM 8:2AB AND 5, 6-7, 8-9• LUKE 24:35-48