Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
May 4, 2020
Today, in Mercy, we have the long story and explanation by Peter of who can be welcomed into the Community. The earliest Christians were all Jews. Their beginning Christian rituals had deep roots in Jewish tradition. Their entire expectation of a Messiah was wrapped in the garment of the Old Testament. So it was hard for them to comprehend that Gentiles might also be saved by the Blood of Christ.
We might be tempted to consider these Jewish Christians very provincial, parochial, or even prejudiced. But maybe we should just look in the mirror!
It seems to be an enduring human inclination and, rather than – like Peter – to seek a road to inclusion, we claim privilege for ourselves and exclude others on all kinds of bases:
- She’s a woman, so she can’t…. whatever…
- He’s gay, so he can’t …
- She’s divorced, so she can’t…
- He’s pro-life, or pro-choice, so he can’t…
- She’s a Muslim, an atheist, and (irony of ironies) a Jew, so she can’t…
Maybe in your own life, you have felt the pain of some of these suggested or blatant exclusions.
Jesus, in our Gospel, has a whole different approach to whom he loves. All creatures belong to him and will be brought to the Father in love.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Let us pray today to know and love our God ever more intensely. Let us ask to experience God’s infinite love and knowledge of us so that our unquenchable joy, humble gratitude, and limitless charity grow more evident.
Let us pray these gifts for all our sisters and brothers, no matter by what gate they come to the sheep fold.
Music: You are Mine – David Haas