Peter meets with and baptizes Gentiles - Catholic Courier

Peter meets with and baptizes Gentiles

Peter meets with and baptizes Gentiles
Bible Accent: The Gentiles
Saint for Today: St. Benedict Biscop
Puzzle

Peter meets with and baptizes Gentiles

Cornelius was a centurion of the Cohort of the Italica who gave generously to the Jews and prayed to God continuously. On a certain day an angel appeared to him and called his name. With fear in his voice, Cornelius asked, “What is it, sir?”

The angel answered, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God. Now send some men to Joppa and summon one Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with another Simon, a tanner, who has a house by the sea.” Then the angel disappeared and Cornelius sent two of his servants and a soldier to find Peter.

On the following day Peter was up on the roof terrace saying his noon prayers. After praying, as he was preparing to eat lunch, he had a vision. He saw a number of animals that were forbidden to be eaten under Jewish law, but a voice told him to eat them. Peter said, “Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane and unclean.”

The voice answered, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.” This happened three times, and when it had stopped the visitors from Cornelius arrived at Peter’s house. After treating the men as guests, the next day Peter went with them to meet Cornelius.

Peter said to his host, “You know that it is unlawful for a Jewish man to associate with, or visit, a Gentile, but God has shown me that I should not call any person profane or unclean. And that is why I can without objection when sent for. May I ask, then, why you summoned me?” Cornelius told Peter about his visit from the angel, and how he had obeyed what the angel had told him to do.

Peter addressed everyone in the household of Cornelius and said, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. You know the word (that) he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. ‚Ķ He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

When Peter finished speaking, he asked, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who had received the holy Spirit even as we have?” No one spoke against it, and Peter ordered everyone there to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

READ MORE ABOUT IT:
Acts 10

Q&A
1. Who told Cornelius to find Peter?
2. Why did Peter agree to meet with Cornelius?

Bible Accent: The Gentiles

The Bible makes many references to Gentiles. Strictly speaking, a Gentile is anyone who is not a Jew. Through his prophets God gave the early Israelites many laws regarding their social, religious and dietary behavior. The Gentiles did not follow these laws. Jews and Gentiles lived in the world of the Bible together, and they traded goods and services, but they kept their religious beliefs separate. This began to change in the New Testament with the birth of Jesus. The Magi who came from the East were probably the first Gentiles to view Jesus, and Cornelius and his family were the first Gentiles to actually be accepted as believers by the early Christians. Because of the faith of Peter and Cornelius, the good news of Jesus is available to us today.

Saint for Today: St. Benedict Biscop

Benedict Biscop (628-690) was born into a noble family of the court of the king of Northumbria. After a visit to Rome when he was in his mid-20s, he pledged to lead a life of religious study and devotion. Upon a second visit to Rome, Benedict joined the monastery in Lerins. After receiving a missionary assignment from Pope St. Vitalian, Benedict traveled with St. Theodore, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to England. Sometime after they arrived, Theodore placed Benedict in charge of the monastery of Ss. Peter and Paul in Canterbury. Two years later Benedict returned home to Northumbria, where the king gave him land on which to build a new monastery. A second monastery, which specialized in music and monastic singing, was built on another tract of land. We honor Benedict on Jan. 12.

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