Daily Reflection
April 7th, 1999
Janet Barger-Lux
School of Medicine
Acts 3:1-10
Luke 24:13-35


Today’s readings are extraordinarily rich.  In image, in meaning, in real life application.  The reading from Acts recalls the dust, heat, and noise of Jerusalem, the grandeur of the temple mount, the people who would have been there, the meaning of that place to them.  All this as backdrop to a marvelous event.  Peter and John, agents of the risen Lord, rescue from his disability a man crippled from birth.  They free him to leap about in joy, to draw amazement from others, and thereby to challenge and enrich their beliefs.  The reading from Luke recalls friends, traveling to the nearby town of Emmaus on foot, struggling to understand what has just taken place in Jerusalem.  Along comes a Stranger who rescues them from their lack of understanding.  He frees their hearts to leap about in joy, to share in one another’s amazement, later to share their amazement with others, and thereby to challenge and enrich their beliefs.

What have we here?  We live our human lives, as did the crippled man and the followers of Jesus on the road to Emmaus, with the back of a great needlepoint canvas before us.  We see the colors, but the shapes they create and the relationships between them, how it all fits together, all of this is obscured by loose ends woven in haphazardly, hanging raggedly.  The front of the canvas is the work of The Artist:  Dazzling designs, amazing colors and shapes, a creation of stupendous beauty, enormous complexity, surprising harmony.  Indescribably rich, though the same piece, the same creation we see now.  Today’s readings describe how Jesus, directly with the friends on the road, and through Peter and John, took at least three people to the front of the canvas.  He gifted them with little resurrections through His power.  Because He cared for them, and for those whose lives they touched, He transformed their physical and spiritual/intellectual woes.  Their difficulties were occasions for the resurrected Jesus to be glorified, opportunities for attracting those open to following Him.

We are those characters today.  Open to following Him?  Yes, but full of excuses.  Aware of needy others?  Yes, but hounded by distractions.  Trapped by various infirmities?  Oh yes.  Struggling in ignorance?  Yes, in too many ways.  When we rescue one another, when we attend to the distress of others, friend or stranger, we are agents of the Lord.  Trouble becomes glory.  And occasionally He gifts us with a fleeting preview of the front of the canvas.  How we will leap about in joy when we finally view it all!

Daily Readings Texts On Line
University Ministry Home Page
 Collaborative Ministry Home Page
Online Retreat Page