Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s First Reading recounts how the people were “cut to the heart” when they heard Peter’s preaching. It is telling that Peter’s words are not received by the people at the level of their heads or minds. That is not enough. Instead, the people must have their existential depths—their hearts—opened for the Resurrection to transform their lives.
St. Ignatius understood as much. He explains in the Spiritual Exercises that “what fills and satisfies the soul consists, not in knowing much, but in our understanding the realities profoundly and in savoring them interiorly.”
We live in an information-soaked age, with bits of data rushing through our smart phones and computer screens and across our restless minds. Where can I find space today to let the truth of the Resurrection move beyond my busy mind and cut into the depths of my heart?
—Vincent Strand, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin Province, is studying theology in preparation for priestly ordination at the International College of the Gesù in Rome.
Risen Jesus, strengthen my own heart these days of new life. May the promise of Easter touch my heart, shape my actions, and fill me with your boundless joy. Amen.