God of the Whole World
MONDAY: Fourth Week of Easter
Acts 11:1-18/Ps.41:2-3; 42:2-3/Jn.10:1-10
God of the Whole World
The Church is a community of apostles, disciples and stewards of Christ and the gospel. With the help of the Holy Spirit, she must rise above cultural, social and legal biases to bring the world to conversion in Christ. Christ dismantled all of these barriers when he encountered Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well, Matthew, the tax collector and Zacchaeus. He dined with them.
The Mosaic Law excluded the gentiles from the economy of salvation and the people of God. By his death on the Cross, St. Paul tells us, Christ broke down the wall of separation between the Jews from the gentiles and made them one people of God (Eph.2:14-18). God loves the whole world. He sent his Son, not to condemn it, but to save it (Jn.3:16-17). Christ beautifully illustrates this in his vision to Peter when he asked him to kill and eat everything outlawed in the Tora. Nevertheless, this revelation was all about the inclusion of all peoples, traditions, and cultures into the economy of salvation.
The Gentiles were the other sheep Christ kept alluding to when he spoke of his other sheep. He wanted them included in the economy of salvation. He intended to draw them into his flock, make them his sheep and be their shepherd (Jn.10:10) because the Father loves not only the Jews but also the whole world (Jn.3:16). God is the shepherd of all nations (Jn.10:16)
As Disciples of Christ and stewards of the gospel, the Church must be faithful to the mission of her Lord. With the love of the Father and the Son, she must bridge the gap between all traditions and cultures to make the kingdom present everywhere until all God's people are one. Peter, in obedience to the Holy Spirit, initiated among the gentiles, the process Christ started with the conversion of Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well, Matthew, the tax collector, Zacchaeus and Christ's death on the Cross. Therefore, without bias and barriers created by personal opinions, the Church, through the proclamation of the gospel, has a divine responsibility to reconcile the world to God in Christ Jesus. Let us go forth and do the same.
Lord, take my hand. Lead me. I will follow you.