Monday, May 4, 2009


First Reading: Acts 11:1-18
Psalm: Ps 42:2-3; 43:3-4
Gospel: Jn 10:1-10


Today, we listen to Peter as he gives an account for his association with the Gentiles. It begins with the believers in Christ that still follow the Mosaic law confronting Peter in a very accusatory way. The reading goes on to say that Peter "began and explained it to them step by step," telling the circumsized believers what he had seen and how the Holy Spirit had descended on the Gentiles. I particularly liked the closing of his explanation
If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God? - John 10:17

In our own walk, do we sometimes accuse others of some perceived wrong before getting both sides of the story? Are we quick to judge the actions of others? I certainly have sometimes. It sneaks in with the littlest issues. Someone might be late for a meeting and I'll begin to get angry. "Don't they know that this is important? Why aren't they more considerate?" Later, when I meet up with the person, I hear that they were sorry to be late, but they had to do something of great importance (I once had someone tell me that they were helping a friend that had lost their home). When I get an explanation as to why, it is most often a very humbling experience. I feel ashamed that I was angry with my friend and disappointed with myself for not considering they might have a good reason.

Friends, we must do our best to give the benefit of the doubt to our brothers and sisters. If we have misjudged them, we should ask forgiveness. If they are truly in need of correction, then we must do so in a gentle but firm way. In either case, we should seek to understand all we can to avoid any rash judgments and condemnations. In this manner, we will spread the teachings of our Lord and at the same time, make sure that those teachings do not lose their meaning in our lives.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of this day. We thank You for the many gifts that you have given us. Lord, grant that we might be patient with our brothers and sisters. Help us to avoid rash judgments and accusations, that we might seek out justice and the truth with a loving heart. We ask all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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