The Lord leads us step by step, "from grace to grace" (Jn 1:16, our transl.), and from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18). For example, Peter took a very important step forward when he obeyed the ascending Christ by devoting himself to constant prayer prior to Pentecost (Acts 1:14). Then he took the giant step of receiving the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and witnessing for the risen Christ to thousands of people (Acts 2:4ff). These steps prepared Peter to heal the man lame from birth (Acts 3:7). Then, Peter was prepared to go to prison for love of Jesus. Peter grew through these various steps to the point that he let the Lord heal people even through his shadow (Acts 5:15-16). Later, the Lord used Peter to heal a man who had been paralyzed for eight years (Acts 9:33-34). This was an immediate preparatory step toward raising Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:40).
After raising the dead, Peter may seem to have reached the top of the steps. However, a higher step was the conversion of the Gentiles, beginning with Cornelius and his family (Acts 10:44). To a Jew, this was more unthinkable than raising from the dead. Peter took still more steps, as when the Lord freed him from death row shortly before his planned execution (Acts 12:11). Eventually, the Lord took Peter up several other flights of stairs — all the way to martyrdom and heaven.
Keep stepping with Jesus. Since one step leads to another, not stepping means cutting ourselves off from the future. Jesus says and keeps saying: "Step right up."
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2016 through May 31, 2016.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015.