Easter Friday (2)

The transformation of Peter in today’s First Reading is amazing if you consider that he is now being questioned by the same people who put Christ to death. He had performed a great sign in public, and the religious authorities treated him exactly as they had Our Lord. We can only imagine what would have happened if he’d healed the crippled man on the Sabbath. What is the source of Peter’s transformation? He’s gone from being intimidated by a servant girl to standing before the Sanhedrin and telling them their own guilt for having crucified Our Lord.

Peter is not concentrating on condemning the Sanhedrin, but showing them that their scheming was useless in thwarting God’s plan. He was an eye witness to everything inflicted on Our Lord, but also to Our Lord Risen and alive. He knows the only true salvation comes from Our Lord, “nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” When you’re not afraid of death, what more is there to fear? Peter’s strength comes from the certainty that Our Lord has conquered death.

Peter not only drew boldness from his faith in the Risen Lord. He was also full of the Holy Spirit. Even when our convictions start to fail us, the Holy Spirit is willing to strengthen us in times of trial. If the Risen Lord is not much of a motivation for you this Easter season, ask the Holy Spirit to help you reclaim the boldness of being a believer. You may not convert five thousand as Peter did, but you will bring people closer to God through his Son.

Readings: Acts 4:1–12; Psalm 118:1–2, 4, 22–27a; John 21:1–14. See also Easter Friday.