A reading from the Acts of the Apostles
(Chapter 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48)
The first great internal crisis that the early Church faced was the question of inclusion or exclusion—who could be in the Church? Almost all of the first disciples were Jews, and Peter at first believed that new members who were not Jews had to be circumcised and keep other Jewish religious laws. Paul, who preached mostly to gentiles, disagreed. He wanted the Church to be inclusive, reaching out to non-believers. Here we have a great example of how Peter, who we consider to be our first pope, changed his mind and said, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.” This was a major breakthrough for the young Church. It meant that it was to be a universal church, a catholic Church, not merely a sect or offshoot of Judaism—a Church where everyone is welcome.
“The Lord has revealed to the nations his power.” God first revealed his power through the people of Israel. Today, he reveals his power through all of us who believe in him and in his Son, Jesus Christ.