At the time when Peter declared the Good News to Cornelius and his kinfolk, the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. When Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him for being with uncircumcised men and eating with them. Peter reviewed for them his experience with Cornelius, telling them of his vision from God and his visit to Caesarea. He explained how the Lord had spoken to Cornelius and told him to send for Peter, saying that he (Peter) would declare to him and his kin a message by which they would be saved – Cornelius and his entire household. Peter reviewed how he told them of Jesus of Nazareth, and how, as he spoke to them, the Holy Spirit fell on Cornelius’s company, just as he did on the disciples at the beginning. Recognizing God’s actions on the Gentiles, Peter and his colleagues announced that God has granted repentance that leads to life also to the peoples of the world who were not Jews.
As the grace of God was extended through the word of the apostles to the Gentiles, so it continues to this very day. Throughout this entire age, our Father God calls all men and women from every land to receive his free salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Spirit.
The Father confirmed the salvation of Cornelius and his kin when the Holy Spirit fell on his company, in the same way that he came upon the first believing community at Pentecost. The Spirit’s coming upon the Gentiles proves that God has elected them to life and salvation, even as he did believing Jews.
Your salvation, O God, is simply amazing; it was promised to your people through Abraham and confirmed through your Spirit to the Gentiles, as seen in Cornelius’s salvation. You have shown us that you are the God of all people, not merely those of Abraham’s physical lineage. I receive your life for my salvation, for I too believe in your Son. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
To discover the real meanings of our priestly nature we need to take a fresh look at the Bible and be willing to realign our thinking with what we find. Centuries before Martin Luther and other Reformation leaders began promoting the concept we know today as the universal priesthood or priesthood of all believers, Moses (Exodus 19:5-6), Peter (1 Peter 2:5-9), and John (Rev. 5:10, 20:6) had already been teaching it. This doctrine is not the sole domain of Protestants. The Roman Catholic Church and other Christian traditions make allowance for this doctrine.
~ Scott Breslin, Embracing Our Priestly Nature at Work:
A Theology and Practice for Ordinary Saints, Electronic Edition.
Eugene OR: Resource Publications, 2017. Loc. 4370.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
You Will Be My Witnesses, Acts 1.1-11
Breslin, Embracing Our Priestly Nature at Work