Monday 4th May 2020
FOURTH week of Easter
Acts 11:1-18, John 10:11-18
During one of my pastoral works in a parish, I embarked on home to home visitation of those who worshipped in the parish. I was passing by a particular house when one man kept calling me to visit him too and pray with his family. The young man who was taking me round told me not to go because he does not worship in the Catholic Church. I did not have enough time to think, I entered the house and started conversing with them. It was during this conversation that I discovered that the man and his family members were muslims. Nevertheless, I was marvelled at how seriously they took my presence and how much they have known about the Christian faith. Their loud shout of 'Amen' during the prayer was also very amazing and they were happy to be sprinkled with holy water.
Peter would have had such an experience as we see in the first reading of today. The Jews never mixed with other nations. Some of the early Christians who were Jews also had that mentality. They thought that the Christian faith was for them alone and thus, they were angry with Peter to see him among the gentiles.
We are called to always remember that we are all children of God. God has no favourite and does not discriminate. Yesterday we heard Jesus tell us that he is the good shepherd, in the gospel reading of today, he tells us that he has other sheep which are not yet in the fold. We are to make effort to bring everyone to the fold of Christ. All that God created is good and clean, we are the ones who make judgement on one another. When Jesus commanded the Apostles to go into the world and preach the gospel in Matt 28:19, he did not intend that only a few people or region should be evangelised. Let us let go of our biases and prejudices and go out of our comfort zones to relate with one another freely. We can be very good friends despite our various backgrounds and religions, just as we are all children of God. No human person should be discriminated. God help us. Amen
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP.