Prayer of Easter

Deel Op

Today the Armenian Church remembers the Metz Yeghérn (the Great Evil). It is the remembrance of the massacre during the First World War in which more than one million Armenians were killed.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 3,1-10

Once, when Peter and John were going up to the Temple for the prayers at the ninth hour, it happened that there was a man being carried along. He was a cripple from birth; and they used to put him down every day near the Temple entrance called the Beautiful Gate so that he could beg from the people going in. When this man saw Peter and John on their way into the Temple he begged from them. Peter, and John too, looked straight at him and said, 'Look at us.' He turned to them expectantly, hoping to get something from them, but Peter said, 'I have neither silver nor gold, but I will give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!' Then he took him by the right hand and helped him to stand up. Instantly his feet and ankles became firm, he jumped up, stood, and began to walk, and he went with them into the Temple, walking and jumping and praising God. Everyone could see him walking and praising God, and they recognised him as the man who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. They were all astonished and perplexed at what had happened to him.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This episode describes the first steps the Christian community after the Resurrection. Perhaps the apostles remembered Jesus' first teachings, as reported by Luke: "Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, 'Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money-not even an extra tunic" (Lk 9:1-3). Further ahead he said that Jesus sent them two by two. In their first going out, Peter and John seem to put Jesus' indications into practice literally. They go out in two and have nothing, no staff and no money. Their love and their common passion for the Gospel are their only strength. This is how it should be with every Christian community. Peter and John are the first to move, and we must continue to follow in their footsteps always. They arrive at the "Beautiful Gate" of the temple and see a man lame from birth. He is forty years old and has spent the greater part of those years there, stretching out his hands and begging. He stayed outside the temple. He was prevented from entering it, not only because he physically could not walk, but also because of his sickness. There was a sad proverb at that time which said: "The blind and the lame shall not enter." Unfortunately, even today, many poor people (and whole countries) are forcibly kept at the doors of the rich. The crippled man probably expected nothing more than a little charity from the two disciples. He stretched out his hand as he did with everyone and as beggars still do. Peter looked intently at him and "with John said, 'Look at us.'" The miracle starts from looking, looking with compassion and mercy. They did not pass by, like many. They stopped and established a direct relation. Pope Francis exhorts: "When you give alms touch their hands with your hand." This man received much more than alms. Healing started from the gaze. And Peter added, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk!" gave his right hand and raised the lame man. We all need to follow the Gospel with the eyes and hands of Peter and John. The first friends, the first companions of this journey are the poor, the weak, and the sick. Our eyes and hands are indissolubly linked with their eyes and hands.