In those days, Peter and John went up into the temple, at the ninth hour of prayer. And a certain man, who was lame from his mother’s womb, was carried; whom they laid every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, that he might ask alms of them that went into the temple. He, when he had seen Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to re- ceive an alms. But Peter, with John, fasten- ing his eyes upon him, said: Look upon us. But he looked earnestly upon them, hop- ing that he should receive something of them. But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none, but what I have I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk. And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up: and forthwith his feet and soles received strength. And he leaping up, stood and walked: and went in with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. And they knew him, that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him.
Verse 1. To the temple. Though the Jewish ceremonies were shortly to cease, yet it was not unlawful to follow them; and they went to the temple as a proper place for prayer. Wi. — The ninth hour, that is, about three in the afternoon. But we must here observe, that the Hebrews divided the light into twelve hours, and the dark into twelve hours; so that their hours would be of unequal length: longer in summer, shorter in winter. Menochius. — The custom of praying three times in the day, is ancient among the Jews. Daniel at Babylon opened his window on the side which looked towards the temple of Jerusalem, and three times a day bent his knees before the Lord. The ancient Fathers of the Church have strongly recommended this established custom of praying three times in the day, morning, noon, and evening. It is indeed not a precept, but a religious observation, to which she invites all her children. See S. Clem. of Alex. Constit. lib. vii. c. 24. Tertullian de Jejuniis, &c. — In Catholic countries, the toll of a bell at morning, noon, and evening, announces the time for the recital of the Angelus Domini, a short prayer, in honour of the incarnation. At these moments, all, however employed, whether at labour in the field, or at home, all cease from their employment, till they have recited the prayer. The repetition of this, and similar practices, cannot be too strongly recommended to Catholics of the present day. They are of singular advantage in recalling the soul, which is too easily dissipated and distracted, to God, her first beginning, and her last end. A.
Verse 4. Look upon us. S. Peter said this to raise his attention and expectation, but the poor man thought of nothing but an alms. Wi.
Verse 6. But what I have, I give thee. Though S. Luke told us, (c. ii. 43.) that the apostles did many miracles and prodigies, yet this is the first specified. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, (known by that name, though of Bethlehem) arise, and walk. In the name of Jesus, lately nailed to a cross. Wi. — This is not the shadow of a great name, magni nominis umbra, but the truth of what it signifies, a Saviour. Not without reason is this name in the Canticles compared to oil, in its three-fold properties, of affording light, food, and medicine. When preached, it enlightens; thought on, it feeds us; and called on, it assuages our grief. Whence has such a sudden light of faith spread over the world, but in preaching the name of Jesus? How did this light shine, and attract the eyes of all, when proceeding like lightning from the mouth of Peter, it strengthened the weakness of the lame man’s feet, and enlightened the minds of many spiritually blind? Did he not then scatter fire, when he exclaimed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, arise and walk? This name is food too. Are you not refreshed, as often as you recall it to your mind? What is as powerful in consoling the mind? What so soon repairs our wearied senses, and gives new vigour to our strength; encourages virtues, cherishes chaste affections? All food is dry to me, if not seasoned with this oil; insipid, unless sprinkled with this salt. If you write, I relish it not, unless I read the name of Jesus. If your read, or speak, I take no pleasure in it, unless I hear the name of Jesus. Jesus is honey in the mouth, music to the ear, but ecstasy to the heart. This is also my medicine. Are you sad? let Jesus enter your heart, and thence ascend upon your tongue. And behold, at the rising of this star, every cloud will retire, and serenity return. Do you fall into a crime, or run on the brink of despair: call on this name of life, and you shall be restored to life, &c. S. Bernard, Serm. xv. super Cant. propè medium.