On Ascension Day, you may not be going to school because it is a public holiday in many countries, but what happened that day? Do you remember? Jesus returned to heaven; that’s why we can’t see Him. But do you know He continues to act? He hasn’t changed: what He did when He was on earth, bless, heal, save, He still does today. He had said to his disciples: “In my name you will do great miracles.” Well, now we’re going to find out about the first healing that was done in His Name after Ascension. You will find this account in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles at the beginning of chapter 3.

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Some inhabitants of Jerusalem arrive at the Temple with a friend whose eyes are filled with sadness. – Shall we leave you here, near that door? They tell him. – Yes! Put me down there! – We’ll come back and get you tonight. Let’s hope people will give you some coins! – I don’t know, we’ll see. He sits on the floor and he holds out his hand. But why doesn’t he go and work with the others, he’s only forty years old? Because it is impossible for him! When he was born, his mum and dad learned that their little boy would never be able to walk, jump or run. His legs and ankles don’t carry him. He is crippled, handicapped. He always remains seated or lying down. If he wants to go somewhere, he has to wait until someone is willing to carry him. He has to beg, but many times people walk past him without even looking at him. It is three in the afternoon, and on that day Peter and John are going up to the Temple to pray. They are going to find the disciples of Jesus who are more and more numerous since the Holy Spirit descended on them on the day of Pentecost. They will worship God. The beggar sees them. He holds out his hand. – Please! A few coins! I need them to eat! Peter and John stop. They look at him attentively and Peter says to him: – Look at us! The cripple raises his head and fixes on them a hopeful look. Certainly these men will give me something, he thinks. Maybe they are rich? He expects to see them take out a few coins. Peter says to him: – I have neither silver nor gold! Imagine! In a fraction of a second his hope disappears. – I have neither silver nor gold, but I have something else and I offer it to you: in the name of Jesus: get up and walk! While speaking, Peter takes him by the right hand and helps him stand up. Immediately his legs and ankles become firm and strong. With a leap, he’s on his own two feet, and now he starts walking, jumping, running. He jumps for joy and cries out: – Glory to God! Glory to God! But look! Look! I can walk, I can jump, I can run, this is the first time in my life! He comes and goes without stopping on his brand new legs. He enters the courtyard of the Temple with Peter and John, singing the praises of God out loud. – Glory to God! He is wonderful! I am cured! It’s a miracle! People look at him in amazement. – But, this man, he looks like the cripple we always see sitting near the door of the Temple! – Yes! It’s him! I recognize him. What does that mean? I’m impressed! – Me too! Word of this healing is spreading and people are flocking from everywhere. – Let’s go and see what’s going on! They are under Solomon’s portico! – I am coming with you! They are all excited, surprised but also amazed. They do not understand and wonder: – How is it that this cripple can walk? – Did God heal him? – I rather believe that these two men next to him did it? Peter gets up. He wants to answer their questions. Speaking to this crowd about Jesus, he knows he is running the risk of being arrested by the leaders of the Temple, but he is not afraid, he is filled with the Holy Spirit. He says: – Why are you so surprised? Why are you looking at us as if we made this man walk? We have no power but it was in the name of Jesus that he was healed. You condemned Jesus, you killed him, but as you can see, God raised him up, He is alive. This healing proves it to you. He came to earth to give his life so that you don’t persevere in your wickedness, in your sins, to save you. So repent and believe in him. They listen to Peter with great attention, their hearts are touched. They understand how mean they have been. Many had probably been among those who had called for Jesus’ death. They did not believe in his resurrection, but before this great miracle done in the name of Jesus, they change their attitude and ask God for forgiveness for their evil hearts. They believe in Jesus and become His disciples. And the man who was crippled, what becomes of him? Of course, he will soon be one of Jesus’ disciples; he stays with the apostles, he is so happy, his life is totally changed.

1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! If you had asked this crippled man what he needed, what would he have said? I need some money to buy food! Peter did not give him a coin but what he gave him, in the name of Jesus, was worth more than all the gold in the world. Did you understand why? I suggest you think about it on your own or with your parents, your friends. You can imagine this man’s life after he was healed, what he did, where he went, what he said and what he didn’t say, what he believed. Everything was changed. And you, today, do you believe that Jesus is alive, that He loves you and that He still works miracles?

4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! “In the name of Jesus” is not a magic formula that would bring blessing from God. When Jesus asks to pray in His Name for the healing of the sick, He is speaking to His disciples, believers who are true to His Word, filled with the Holy Spirit. The healing of this crippled man is the first miracle after Ascension, but it is not the last. It is written that “there were many wonders and miracles done by the apostles, and the Lord added daily to the Church those who were being saved.” I encourage you to share recent testimonies of healings with your children, which will strengthen their faith and make them happy.