Read Acts 2:36-41, Psalm 33 and John 20:11-18)_
“They were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ…’” (Acts 2:37-38)
Today’s first reading is the concluding part of a sermon given by Peter; the same Peter who denied Jesus a few days earlier gave a sermon that produced 3,000 converts in one sitting. It was such a moving sermon, not the type that makes listeners run towards the altar to drop money but the type that made them run towards the altar to give their lives completely to Jesus.
Luke tells us that the audience was “cut to the heart.” The word of God that Peter spoke did exactly what the book of Hebrew says: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). The people had to ask Peter, “What are we to do?”
The trend we see these days among preachers of the word is really disturbing. The idea of having people run to the altar to drop money as well as valuables while shouting “I receive it” only to return home still hooked in sinful lifestyles goes to show that religion today has become a means of survival rather than an avenue to worship God. The truth is that any Preacher of the word who aims at converting souls (rather than people’s pockets) would seriously discourage this trend.
When the People asked Peter what they are to do, he did not ask them to sow seeds, he did not ask them to buy blessed mantle or handkerchief, Peter simply said: “Repent and be baptised in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Going further, Peter added: “Save yourself from this crooked generations.”
It seems to me that our modern day preachers have idolized riches, placing physical and material prosperity over and above righteousness. Those who have made it are treated like Saints while those who are poor are made to feel unwanted. Today’s popular preachers are on a mission to free people from poverty not to preach repentance as Jesus himself commanded.
Both Peter and Judas offended Jesus but while Peter dried his tears, Judas hanged himself. If only Judas had come to Jesus to beg forgiveness, and to repent, I believe he would have become a great preacher like Peter or like Paul who once persecuted the Church. For God, our past does not matter as much as our potentials.
If only Judas had come to Jesus to beg forgiveness, and to repent, I believe he would have become a great preacher like Peter or like Paul who once persecuted the Church. For God, our past does not matter as much as our potentials.
There comes a time in our own lives when we have to stop crying over our past faults and mistakes.
There comes a time when we have clean the tears in our eyes so that we can see clearly the image before us. Mary Magdalene obviously could not recognize Jesus because of the tears in her eyes. Judas Iscariot cried so much that he failed to see the loving gaze of Jesus extending his hands towards him even after his betrayal.
Your past may have been a mess, you may have done worse than Judas or Peter or that thief who was crucified with Jesus. Stop crying today. God wants to work through you. Only Repent and give your life to Christ.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, create in me a pure heart and renew my spirit within me. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of Easter Octave. Bible Study: Acts 2:36-41, Psalm 33 and John 20:11-18).