God of second chances

Readings for Thursday April 8, 2010

First Reading: Acts 3:11-26
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 8
Gospel: Luke 24:35-48

As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John, all the people hurried in amazement toward them in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.” When Peter saw this, he addressed the people, “You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this, and why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence, when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the faith that comes through it has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you. Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. (Acts 3:11-21)

In today's reading from Acts, we once again see the new bold Peter address the crowd. Peter makes sure that he takes attention off of him and John and directs it back to God. Then he goes on to tell the Israelites how they have done wrong by rejecting and persecuting Jesus. But after addressing their wrongdoings, Peter doesn't continue to condemn them, he does what every good Christian should do ... he offered them a second chance through Christ.

Even though these people had done wrong to Jesus, "the author of life", Peter tells them that it is not too late for them. He tells them that they can still repent and have their sins wiped away. Isn't this just amazing?! Even though these people were partly responsible for the death of the Christ, they are still shown compassion and offered a second chance. Peter, who understands second chances better than most, is very clear that each of these people too can have a second chance through Christ. And it is this same second chance that we are offered as well, no matter what we done.

May we always remember that we serve a God of infinite compassion and mercy. He is a God who always offers us a second chance at new life. May we always remember this in our own life and also be willing to share God's love and mercy with those who need it.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for your great love and mercy. Help all of those who are turned away from you to come back to your arms, that they may find peace and comfort and their life in you. Lord, give us the strength and courage to share your mercy with others, and humble ourselves when we need a second chance. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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