Acts 10:44 "While Peter was still speaking these things the Holy Spirit came upon all who were listening to the Word."
I am assisting in the Catechetical Certification Program for the Archdiocese of Boston. Today the guest speaker, a member of the Neo-Catechetical Movement (known as The Way), was invited to present Lectio Divina. Father began his presentation with his vocation narrative. Not unlike Peter when he visited the house of Cornelius. Cornelius was expecting him and had prepared the house summoning his friends and relatives. This was to be a big occassion. In fact Cornelius was so excited that he knelt at Peter's feet when he entered. The scripture passage even goes so far as to say "he fell at his feet and worshiped him." You can just imagine Peter the fisherman, still stinging from his denial of Christ and much more humble in his position as evangelizer, lifting Cornelius back up. "Get up! I am a man too!" After Father pointed us toward Christ he opened the Bible. "Is this the Word of God?" he asked. Everyone nodded yes. Surprisingly he said "Not really - it is the Scripture but some people spend their lives looking up passages for scientific or historical study - they can read it over and over. What makes it the Word of God?" Then he called out a name "Andrew!" There happened to be someone called Andrew in our gathering. Andrew had raised his hand in response. "See the Word became alive just as when the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary "Hail, Mary! The Lord is with you!" "What happens to us when the Word reaches us - is directed to us," Father continued, "Is our response. The seed of the Word is planted and begins to grow. Who is the Word of God? Jesus."
In this reading from the Acts of the Apostles Peter was taken by surprise during his delivery of the Word. The Word became flesh in all of Cornelius's friends and relatives through the Holy Spirit. Even while Peter was still proclaiming the Word the Spirit enlivened the gathering. The Word grew in them and would continue growing through baptism, life in the body of Christ (the Church) and to the full stature of Christ. The Word would lead all of these Gentiles to life in the Holy Trinity "Until Christ is formed" as Paul said (Gal. 2:20).
As the Christmas season concludes and we enter the Church's Ordinary Time we reflect on how "extra-ordinary" all time is in Christ.
Read Acts Chapter10 (aloud if with a group).
WAY Meditate How does Peter dialogue (pray) with God? Does it remind you of the prayer of Abraham or Moses? How does Peter deepen his understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ?
LIFE Pray What invitations are you receiving from the Lord that invite you to relationship through sharing the love of Christ?
LIVE Act If you receive the Pauline Cooperator magazine read the evangelization issue (January 2010) to live out of a Pauline style of evangelization. Why is the gospel "good news?" How do you witness Christ as Peter did? Do you identify with Cornelius in your search for a deeper faith?
Lord Jesus, Cornelius was at prayer and received a heavenly visitor who reminded Cornelius that his alms giving and prayer had been remembered before God. May all that we do be a pleasing sacra-fice (to make holy) as incense rising before you each moment of the day. When you call us through your Word and Sacrament may our ears be opened to obedience. When you invite us to extend hospitality in our daily meetings with others let us be filled with your Spirit. May we bear your Word upon the streets of the world. We ask this in your name, Jesus. Amen.