You still hear of people rummaging through junk in the attic or the garage, and discovering an object which has immense value to someone else. That dusty old painting in the corner, might actually be a lost Gainsborough. You may have pushed it aside many times, not recognizing it, yet suddenly looking at it with new eyes, you realize how priceless it is.
Something similar happened in the first reading. Every day as they went to the Temple to pray, Peter and John would walk past through the so-called ‘Beautiful Gate’ which scholars believe was adorned with hammered bronze and gold (Acts 3:2). It must have been a lovely thing to look at and would have been admired by everyone who passed by. And yet, they would also walk past the lame beggar who sat at the foot of this gate. It seems that they had never really taken notice of him before. He must have seemed so insignificant compared to his stunning surroundings.
For whatever reason, the Holy Spirit decided to open Peter and John’s eyes to the man on this particular day as they passed him by. They feel drawn to look at him and confidently invite him to be healed. The man responds to his miracle with such excitement that everyone around suddenly recognizes this beggar as well, and sees how precious and beautiful he is. After all, God wouldn’t bother to work a miracle unless the chap had some value.
The beauty of the world is always before us, and we should always appreciate it. Clearly, God wants us to open our eyes to the veiled treasures hidden around us. He wants to teach us how to look beyond at the people we pass every day and see how precious they are to him. And he does this not just so that we will admire them, but so that we will treat them with the dignity they deserve. Imagine the healing, the restoration, and the peace that we can bring to this world as we see the beauty and glory present in each and every person around us.