"It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and ours too." —Acts 15:28
Almost everyone reading this is a Gentile, that is, a non-Jew. Early Christians had serious reservations about including us in Jesus' kingdom. According to the Bible and tradition, we Gentiles were not the chosen people. We did not belong. What caused the early Christians to change their minds was the outpouring of the Spirit on us Gentiles. Peter reasoned that, if we received the Spirit's gifts of tongues and prophecy just as they did on Pentecost, God must want to include Gentiles also (Acts 11:17; 15:8). In effect, the Holy Spirit was the One Who decided to include us Gentiles in Christ's Kingdom.
Let's put ourselves back in those early days of the Church. Would we present-day Christians have the Holy Spirit-credentials to be accepted into the Christian community? Are the gifts and fruit of the Spirit so manifest in our lives that we obviously belong in Christ's Body? Do we have the way of love which surpasses all the gifts? (1 Cor 12:31) If we do, they'll know we are Christians by our love, the fruit of the Spirit (Jn 13:35).
Prayer: Father, may my Christianity be written all over me. Give me a new Pentecost.
Promise: "This is My commandment: love one another as I d you. There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." —Jn 15:12-13
Praise: St. Isidore, patron of farmers and rural communities, rose early each morning and walked to Mass before carrying out his lifelong work as a farm laborer.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek the Gifts of the Spirit, or our four series of tapes on Gifts of the Spirit starting with audio AV 3A-1 or video V-3A.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008
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