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May 09, 2022

Acts 11:1-18

Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 

Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 

But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. 

These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 

And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”

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.

Seeing the “Other”

“Who was I that I could hinder God?”

What beautiful words from Scripture. The polarization in our society makes seeing goodness in others difficult, especially those we do not agree with or who frustrate us. I wonder if that is why the circumcised believers were frustrated with Peter when he ate with the Gentiles, because Peter ate with people with whom he was not supposed to get along. In their minds, these groups of people are meant to be separate because they are different. Yet, Peter dwelled with them, and by sharing a meal with the Gentiles, he became one of them. Who was he to hinder the love God has for all people?

Who are those you see as different from you, and how may God be calling you to love them?

Lindsay Horn is an Associate Director of Youth Ministry at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford, Ohio.

 

Prayer 

We Are One With You

O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you.
You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us.
Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection.
O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is your being, our spirit is rooted in your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and  which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious.

—Thomas Merton


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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May 09, 2022

Acts 11:1-18

Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 

Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 

But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. 

These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 

And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”

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.

Seeing the “Other”

“Who was I that I could hinder God?”

What beautiful words from Scripture. The polarization in our society makes seeing goodness in others difficult, especially those we do not agree with or who frustrate us. I wonder if that is why the circumcised believers were frustrated with Peter when he ate with the Gentiles, because Peter ate with people with whom he was not supposed to get along. In their minds, these groups of people are meant to be separate because they are different. Yet, Peter dwelled with them, and by sharing a meal with the Gentiles, he became one of them. Who was he to hinder the love God has for all people?

Who are those you see as different from you, and how may God be calling you to love them?

Lindsay Horn is an Associate Director of Youth Ministry at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Milford, Ohio.

 

Prayer 

We Are One With You

O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you.
You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us.
Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection.
O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is your being, our spirit is rooted in your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and  which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious.

—Thomas Merton


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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