First Reading: Acts 11:1-18; Psalm: 42. R. v. 3ab; Gospel: Jn 10:11-18
DO NOT DISCRIMINATE FOR GOD DOES NOT
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them” (Acts 11:3)
The birth of Christianity was the beginning of a new family of God. When we chose to become Christians, we chose also to accept and mingle with others who are different from us in colour and tongue but profess one faith in Jesus Christ. Who we are, where we come from and whatever culture that shaped us shouldn’t divide or constitute any barrier amongst us. When we begin to judge and relate with a fellow Christian based on race and ethnic sentiments, then we are creating division among the family of God.
Peter was attacked and criticised by the circumcision party (his fellow Jews) for eating with the uncircumcised Gentiles. This group of Jews felt that the Gentiles who had accepted the faith were unqualified to intermingle with them, the circumcised party. For them, faith in Jesus Christ was secondary. What was primary or more important was circumcision. They detested the sight of the Gentiles and didn’t want them anywhere close to them. Then Peter had to explain to them how God condemned discrimination among believers through his vision and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When they heard the story of Peter’s vision and his experience, they dropped their prejudiced sentiments and glorified God.
If God does not discriminate, why should we? Today, many Christians are still uncomfortable to relate with their fellow Christians just because of where they come from. It is as though we prioritise racial identity and tongue over the faith we profess. When we harbour hate and discriminate among fellow Christians, we do not only harm the body of Christ but also prove that we truly do not understand what it means to be Christian. If we all received one baptism and the same Holy Spirit, then nothing whatsoever should come between us as one body of Christ. We can once again re-evaluate our Christian relationship today to see where we err. And ask the Holy Spirit to help us become better.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us to reach that maturity of faith where all that matters is the oneness we share as one family of God. Amen.