Faithlife Sermons

3rd Sunday of Easter Year B

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Movement from ignorance to knowledge, dark to light, death to life, etc.

You’ve got it all wrong...
Put to death the author of life
Asked a murderer to be released to you
Instilling a healthy sense of shame
“You’ve got it all wrong...” That’s basically what Peter was saying to the crowds in our reading from Acts of the Apostles. Peter had just healed a paralytic man that the people knew well. Every day they saw this crippled man begging at one of the gates to the temple. Through the power of Christ, Peter healed him. They crowd was amazed, absolutely astonished. Then Peter speaks to them about the source of this power. It’s not his own special power. It comes from Christ. But Peter does this in a very accusatory way. He begins to prick the consciences of the people there. This power comes from Christ whom you crucified! You denied the holy one and asked that a murderer by released. You put to death the author of life. He gets them to recognize their sin. He instills in them a sense of shame.
That makes everyone uncomfortable. But it is a necessary movement. At the end Peter will show them the way to repentance. He doesn’t leave them there with their shame and their sin. He will point to Christ as the way out of it
Peter calls them out and instills a sense of shame, but then he shows them the remedy and calls them to repentance.
Sinners, yes. Corrupt, no.
In order to recover our sense of sin we need a healthy dose of shame…
Attitude of one who receives mercy (10ff)
Referring back to – shame is a grace, shame for oneself and for one’s sin
There is a need to feel shame
Francis, drawing from Saint Augustine, teaches that “The impure heart must be destroyed so that the pure one may be created. We should be displeased with ourselves when we commit sin, for sin is displeasing to God. Sinful though we are, let us at least be like God in this, that we are displeased at what displeases him” (Discourses 19.2-3) (NGM 31-32)
Becoming a new creation – God renewing us by His mercy
Yes, we are sinners, but it doesn’t end there!
What if we don’t feel like sinners? Francis teaches us to ask for the grace to feel shame!
Asking for the grace to recognize ourselves as sinners (NGM 32)
Story of a soldier going to confession, but did not feel sorry for what he did. In fact, he admitted he would do the same thing again if he had the chance. The priest asked the young man if he was sorry that he was not sorry. The soldier replied yes.
Just a crack is needed for mercy to get in…
Francis mentions this “crack” a few times in NGM
In other words, mercy is available but man must be open to receiving it
To receive mercy one must first recognize the need for mercy. This can come from a healthy sense of shame for one’s sin.
Throwing out the author of life… ugh…
“Look at my hands and my feet!” Jesus has overcome it all.
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