In response to circumcision, Peter says, “No need to bother!” (My own translation)

30pxPope John Paul II's coat of arms]] 30pxHer...

30pxPope John Paul II’s coat of arms]] 30pxHerb Jana Pawła II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading;  After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us.  (Acts 15:7-8)

Observation:  I am hearing that the response of the early to the question about circumcision, was that it was not necessary to follow Jesus, and for the church today…Peter would say, “It is not necessary for everyone to fit the perfect mold of what we would call a repentant sinner to be saved.”  I feel like too often we only see the completely reformed sinner as worthy of coming to the church, and the truth is that we should be opening the doors to everyone who recognizes a need for God to take an active role in their life.  If I look back on my conversion story, that is still ongoing, of course, I realize that I would never be accepted by a church that operates with the standards that I have in my mind, and I am taking Peter’s words today to heart.

Personification:  Joy   It is with great joy that we should see the call to repentance for the world.  I see the picture of Blessed Pope John Paul II in my mind, when he said, “Open wide the doors!”  and it warms my heart to know that we are still being asked to follow through with this ideal for evangelization in the church today.

Prayer:  Lord, let my life be a mirror of the Gospel truth that you have graced me with the ability to accept in my heart and let the light that you filled me with shine for the world to see.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.