How many of us think that proper “holy” behavior is reserved, uptight, and unexcitable? (I’m not sure if that last one is actually a word, but you know exactly what I mean) Faith is a very serious thing.
Well, yes. Faith can be very serious, very deep, and very peaceful. It can be something quite awe-inspiring and incredibly intense. But, it can also be joyful, energetic, and absolutely crazy. I was reminded of this as I listened to the story from the Book of Acts at Mass this morning.
Peter and John are on their way into the Temple, and a crippled man asks them for money. The Bible says that they stared at him intently. I wonder what that was like. Were they seeing that God had healing in store for this man? Peter takes him by the right hand and tells him, “Rise and walk.”
As soon as he was healed, the Bible says, “He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.” (Acts 3:8) Now if we’re reading this with our uptight, holy people glasses, we miss the whole scene. Look at the man. He hasn’t walked since birth. He walks around for a moment in astonishment and then goes leaping into the temple. This crazy man is jumping all over the temple. Can you just see his joy? Can you feel the elation? This is the joy of the Lord. This, too, is deep and abiding faith. Have you felt it?