Peter said to the people: ‘You are Israelites, and it is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, who has glorified his servant Jesus, the same Jesus you handed over and then disowned in the presence of Pilate after Pilate had decided to release him. It was you who accused the Holy One, the Just One, you who demanded the reprieve of a murderer while you killed the prince of life. God, however, raised him from the dead, and to that fact we are the witnesses.
‘Now I know, brothers, that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing; this was the way God carried out what he had foretold, when he said through all his prophets that his Christ would suffer. Now you must repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.’
First reading for the 3rd Sunday of Easter
Peter’s offer of mercy is astonishing.
Of course principally, he is extending to others the mercy of God, a mercy and love that is without end, and has no favourites. But he is also investing himself in this action – turning to those who he considered his enemies too, and whom he was in fear of. And now he associates himself with this audacious, generous, always surprising but never changing, love and mercy of God.
Carving: St Peter. Arles, France. (c) 2013, Allen Morris