As much as I rejoice that God or Jesus or a saint makes the blind see or the lame walk, my question long has been “Why not heal them all?” If the response is that these particular people’s faith is the factor, I can’t help but imagine that there have been many good and faithful people who begged for the lives of their children or an ease of terrible suffering only to have those requests denied. So I was initially heartened by the first part of the reading from Acts 3 which indicates that Peter and John tell the “crippled man” not to expect anything from them other than faith in Jesus.

But then the reading tells us that the man “leaped up, stood, and walked around.” Maybe I am paying attention to the wrong part of the story. Maybe the important thing is that Peter and John did not just walk by this man who had long sat by the gate, passed by thousands on their way to Temple. Maybe the important thing is that they acknowledged him as a human being; they touched him, raised him up, and invited him in.

—Bren Ortega Murphy, PhD is a faculty member in Communications Studies at Loyola University Chicago. She holds a joint appointment in Loyola’s Women’s Studies program.