The liturgy for Wednesday of the octave of Easter always boasts two of my favorite readings – the road to Emmaus in the Gospel and Peter’s cure of the beggar at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. I love how Peter turns to the beggar and the guy expects a little money, then Peter declares, “I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Today I was struck with a little thought. If this man had been sitting by the Beautiful Gate every day, and had been crippled since birth (see Acts 3), wouldn’t Jesus have walked by him too?
Perhaps this is yet another example of someone Jesus chose not to cure. Not because He didn’t love him, but because the plan was bigger. Maybe the beggar had seen Jesus come and go and had heard the stories. Maybe he wondered why so many had been cured, but not him? Like so many of us, he could see the thread in front of him but not the whole tapestry.
It can be hard in the midst of suffering to see why God is letting us bear the burden, seemingly alone. Why do others not suffer like we do? Or why are others relieved of their pain while we continue to suffer?
Perhaps we are waiting for Peter.