Day 324: The Name of Jesus

Acts 3:1-10 Filled with the Holy Spirit, the Apostles performed miracles of healing similar to those accomplished by Christ during his earthly ministry, just as he had promised. These works, as he had predicted, would cause great consternation among the Jewish authorities and lead to severe persecutions. (CCC 2640)

Ch 3:1 The hour of prayer: The ninth hour (3 PM) indicates the time of the evening sacrifice. The Apostles and early Christians were still part of the Jewish community who attended Temple prayer at the prescribed times. (CCC 584)

Ch 3:11-26 This portico was a meeting place for early Christians. Peter’s address affirmed that their power to heal was from God through the invocation of the name of Jesus. He called upon the people to acknowledge Jesus as the promised Messiah, whose Life, Death, and Resurrection fulfilled the prophecies. (CCC 612, 626, 2651, 2663-2666)

Ch 3:13-16 Peter used the same construction by which God identified himself to Moses in the burning bush (cf. Ex 3:6). 

Holy and Righteous One: This is Christ, as evidenced by his works. 

A murderer: Barabbas, who was released instead of Christ by Pilate.

Author of life: Christ, in his divine nature, is the creator of the universe and the source of eternal life for humanity. (CCC 13-14, 435, 438, 2651)

Ch 3:15 To affirm that Christ was “raised from the dead” means that at death his Body and soul were separated and his soul went to the abode of the dead, also referred to as the bosom of Abraham. The Church proclaims this in the Apostles’ Creed: “He descended into hell.” Nevertheless, he was there to liberate and usher into Heaven the righteous men and women of the Old Covenant who awaited the Redemption. (CCC 612, 626, 632, 635, 2666)

Ch 3:17-18 You acted in ignorance: Those who rejected and crucified Christ would not have done so if they had understood who he really is. This statement resonates with Christ’s words from the Cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). The moral teachings of the Church distinguish between vincible ignorance, in which the individual is willfully ignorant and does not take the available measures to know the truth, and invincible ignorance, in which it is not possible to know a particular truth. While invincible ignorance renders the person inculpable for sin, there is always a degree of sin, whether small or great, when the ignorance is vincible. The members of the Sanhedrin who conspired to put Christ to Death, for example, exhibited a mixture of ignorance and stubbornness, yet God ultimately accomplished his divine plan even in the midst of the sins of humanity. (CCC 591, 597, 599-601)

Ch 3:19-21 That your sins may be blotted out: An invitation to the waters of Baptism so our sins may be forgiven. (CCC 674, 1871-1876)

Ch 3:22-23 The messianic prophecy of Moses (cf. Dt 18:15-19) cautioned Israel to watch for a great prophet bearing the Word of God who would hold the key to salvation. This is the prophet many of the Jews had in mind when they asked whether John the Baptist or Christ were “the prophet.” Peter, who had previously acknowledged Christ’s divinity, identified Christ as this prophet: not a merely human messenger of the coming of God but the presence of God himself. (CCC 707)

Romans 4:1-25 We respond to God’s goodness and mercy by faith and worship. By our faith in Christ through the grace of Baptism, we are justified. The Law remains in force, but the keeping of the Law does not sanctify us; rather, God’s grace enables us to go beyond the Law through a life of charity. God justified Abraham for his faith manifested by his fidelity to God’s will, even to the extreme point of being willing to sacrifice his son. (CCC 144-147, 517, 519)

Ch 4:11 All who believe...circumcised: The true sons of Abraham are not those who have simply descended from him but who share his faith. (CCC 146)

Ch 4:13 The promise of God that Abraham would become the “father of a multitude of nations” (cf. Gn 17:4) preceded by several generations the Law given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. (CCC 72, 706, 2572)

Ch 4:15 The law brings wrath: The Law of Moses stipulates the consequences and punishments for transgressing that Law. If there were no Law, there would be no such consequences. (CCC 2542)

Ch 4:17 Calls into existence...not exist: God alone can create from nothing. (CCC 298)

Ch 4:18-24 Barrenness: The word is closer to “deadness.” Abraham believed the promises of God included the new life of a child despite his and his wife’s advanced age. Similarly, our belief that God raised Christ from the dead leads to faith in our own bodily resurrection at the last judgment. 

Reckoned to him as righteousness: Abraham’s complete faith and trust in God was a clear manifestation of his holiness in the eyes of God. (CCC 146, 164-165, 706, 1819)

Ch 4:25 Justification, the grace of salvation, comes to us from God through the Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ. (CCC 34, 517, 654, 977, 1266)

Ch 5:1-11 The theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity (love) are both a cause and a result of the gratuitous gifts that come with our justification by God. At the same time, the three theological virtues require our cooperation by putting them into practice. 

God’s love has been poured into our hearts: Paul used a graphic image that denotes how we are infused with new life in Christ, which is a share in the life of the Trinity. (CCC 733, 1813, 1820, 1964, 2658)

Ch 5:3-5 Our trust in God, our Father, is put to the test in times of hardship and suffering. It is also in such times that God’s love for us is proven again and again. Such trials are necessary for our interior spiritual growth. (CCC 368, 2734, 2847)

Ch 5:6-11 God’s love for us is unconditional, and the greatest witness of this is Christ’s Death for our sins in order to redeem us although we were unworthy and undeserving of his mercy. Rather than be separated from God by our sins, all of us have access to reconciliation with God and the peace and joy of Christ. As sinful as we may be, God loves infinitely and unconditionally. In light of this fact, we are expected to love everyone, including our enemies. (CCC 603-604, 1825)

Ch 5:10 We were reconciled with God at Baptism through which we symbolically die with Christ and are incorporated into his Death and Resurrection. We remain reconciled if we do not reject his grace. Furthermore, we can grow in sanctity by meriting an increase of grace. (CCC 1026)

Ch 5:12-21 The sin of Adam has ramifications for all his descendants. Among these consequences, all of us are subject to death, inclined to sin, and vulnerable to temptation. The Church teaches that every human person (with the notable exception of Mary) is conceived with the stain of Original Sin, i.e., lacking sanctifying grace and in need of redemption. That is why Baptism, which forgives all sin and bestows sanctifying grace, is necessary for salvation. (CCC 388-390, 400-406,  419, 612, 1008, 1018-1019)

Ch 5:18-19 The sin of Adam is transmitted to every person “‘By propagation, not by imitation’ and that it is…’proper to each’” (CPG 16). The redemption of Christ, the New Adam, brings about justification and salvation, as if each one of us made the necessary expiation for our sins. (CCC 397, 411, 532, 615, 623)

Ch 5:20-21 The Old Law set parameters for right and wrong so the Israelites would have very clear guidance for their moral behavior. The New Law of grace and the charity of Christ perfect the Old Law.

Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more: The Crucifixion of Christ led to a limitless outpouring of grace in the Resurrection of Christ and the redemption of his people. God continually makes available all the grace we need to resist temptation and overcome sin. We need only to ask for it in faith. (CCC 312, 385, 412, 415-421, 1848)

Proverbs 27:1 Christ stated something similar when he said, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Mt 6:34). The spiritual writer Jean Pierre de Caussade put it more positively: “The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams, but you will only enjoy them to the extent of your faith and love. The more a soul loves, the more it longs, the more it hopes, the more it finds. The will of God is manifest in each moment, an immense ocean which only the heart fathoms insofar as it overflows with faith, trust, and love” (The Sacrament of the Present Moment).

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Healing and Teaching in Jesus’ Name 

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thank you so much. Thank you for the gift of this day. Thank you for the gift of your mercies, which are new every single morning. Thank you for the gift of Grace that comes to us as a complete and free gift. Not something that we’ve earned and not something that we deserve, but simply something that we receive because of your goodness, not because of our worth, not because of our goodness, not because of our dignity, but simply because you are good. Because you are just. Because you are the God who is good. You are the Lord of all and you have purchased us at a price. You have won us to yourself not only by wresting us from the power of sin and death, but you have won our hearts by revealing your gentle heart, your strong heart, your faithful heart, your relentless heart that loves us and chooses us no matter what. So we thank you. Help us to choose you. Help us to receive your love no matter what. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”