“As I began to address them the Holy Spirit came upon them.” —Acts 11:15
Gentiles, that is, non-Jews, were excluded from the company of Jews. However, the Holy Spirit made it crystal-clear to Peter that he was to enter Cornelius’ house (Acts 11:5ff; 11:12).
The Spirit hadn’t yet instructed Peter what to say to the assembled Gentiles. So Peter “proceeded to address them” with a standard witness to the risen Lord (Acts 10:34ff). Then Peter brought up the subject of sin (Acts 10:43). Based on his previous preaching in Acts, it’s quite possible that Peter’s next words would have involved accountability for sin and the need for deep repentance. Theologically this makes good sense, but the Holy Spirit had a different subject in mind, for the Spirit took over from Peter. “Peter had not finished these words” about forgiveness of sins “when the Holy Spirit descended upon all who were listening to Peter’s message” (Acts 10:44). Although Peter’s Jewish Christian companions were surprised at this turn of events (Acts 10:45), Peter followed “the Spirit’s lead” perfectly (Gal 5:25). Rather than trying to take the floor back from the Holy Spirit and finish his sermon, Peter “gave orders that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:48).
Let us hear the voice of Jesus (Jn 10:16) and thereby learn the voice of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what is the right word at the right time (see e.g. 1 Cor 2:10ff). Like Peter, let us “live by the Spirit” and “follow the Spirit’s lead” (Gal 5:25).
Freedom. Sometimes you hear or watch something that is just fantastic. Here is one of those instances when I want to pass along a very good teaching about exploring the types of prison people put themselves in, and how to get out. Would you like a get out of jail free card?
Below is a podcast from Presentation Ministries, by Father Al Lauer, who offers great insights into getting free!!
The body of Christ is broken. The culture of death is becoming even more oppressive. Millions of babies do not survive long enough to be born. The unfaithfulness of Christians is scandalous. Under these circumstances, you would think we would be depressed and even despairing.
However, “despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it” (Rm 5:20). Pope St. John Paul II prophesied that we can have a new springtime of the Christian life right now if we are docile to the action of the Holy Spirit (Towards the Third Millennium(TMA), 18). After this new springtime, justice and freedom will be restored to the world (TMA, 16). Jeremiah also prophesied: “I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope” (Jer 29:11). The bishops of Vatican II have also prophesied that Mary is a sign of sure hope (Lumen Gentium, 68). With Mary leading her children, we will cross the threshold of hope into the new millennium.
Stewardship–A Story about a King and Three Servants.
The king gave three servants a talent. The first servant earned 10x what the king had given him. The second steward had earned 5x what the king had given him. And the third servant, buried the talent and gave the one talent back to the king. The king got very mad at the third steward and told him what little had been given to him would be taken away. What in the world? What does all this mean for us?
What’s a good steward?
The message God wants us to take away from this parable is to be a good steward. What does that mean? We are to be good managers with what God have given us. Our resources are not only monetary, but our time, abilities and everything. If we have a car that seats 5 people, we had better be filling up those seats. If you have a house for 10 people, you should have 10 people in there. Got a big yard? You had better be using that yard a lot. That seems kind of strict. Doesn’t it? You can see that God is very strict with this.
St. John told Gaius to “demonstrate fidelity” (3 Jn 5) by showing real love through helping and supporting the missionaries John had sent to Gaius’ church (3 Jn 6, 8). To do this would cost Gaius not only time and money but also his reputation (see 3 Jn 10) and his membership in his local church. This is because Diotrephes, the leader of Gaius’ church, threatened to excommunicate anyone who accepted John’s missionaries (3 Jn 10).