All three readings today carry the same message,
and the scholars tell us
that the teaching
definitely goes back to Jesus:
By the time the
first letter of John was written,
the struggle between the synagogue leaders
and the Jews
was no longer an issue.
But another struggle
split the fledgling Johannine community,
a struggle that Scripture scholar
describes as “sparked by different views of
The reading from
Acts of the Apostles
gives us a picture of another rift,
this time the one
that led to the permanent separation
between Christianity and Judaism.
involved, again according to Raymond Brown,
Peter’s defending the baptism of
Cornelius and his household
even though Cornelius is not Jewish.
explains why he did it
by telling about a heavenly vision he
in which God declared all foods clean.
Author Garry Wills
points out that Cornelius,
as the Roman prefect at Caesarea,
had a large and very diverse household
including adults, children,
and military personnel attached to Cornelius’ headquarters.
result, Wills sees a second Pentecost
in the final verses of today’s passage
In the first Pentecost,
the wonder is that Jews from all over
hear the message in their own language.
In this second
the wonder is that people from very different backgrounds
are inspired by the Spirit to speak
in language that Peter and his companions
Wills concludes that this miracle happens
in order to make
the circumcised Christian Jews
accept the non-circumcised Gentiles as
That leads to the solution for Peter and the Christian
echoed in John’s Gospel and the First Letter of John:
that all are equal in God’s eyes,
so we must love one another as God loves us
In the passage from
we are presented with another piece
of Jesus’ Last Supper
While the language and the scene are created by John,
agree that the message to love one another,
the message that all are equal in
is undeniably the message of Jesus.
It’s a radical message,
and it is clear:
All live in God’s love.
The Jews are a Chosen People, but
God shows no partiality—
God chooses everyone else, too.
the teaching comes from the historical Jesus,
applied to the current situations
in the language of the scripture
Love one another:
Our world today needs to
listen to Jesus’ message once more.
When we watch the evening news
the violence and hatred
around the world and right here at home,
that people must think
that some lives are more important than others.
latest escapade of a movie star
‘ gets more air time than 7,000
killed by the Nepal earthquake.
A new cellphone ap
the story of genocide against the Yazidis.
Our local paper spills more
when a police officer shoots a dog in the leg
than when a
policeman shoots an unarmed black man
in the back.
In the midst of this
barrage of skewed news headlines
we hear Jesus' command to love one
an order to consider each life as important as every other
Love one another in Baltimore.
Love one another in Nepal.
one another in Toledo.
But what can we do?
can we possibly make a difference
against all the hate and war and violence
in the world?
We can show up for one of TUSA’s Nehemiah Actions,
can send a check to Catholic Relief Services for Nepal,
and we can join a
Dialogue-to-Change anti-racism group,
and we can stand on a street
with the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition,
and we can plant a
or we can convince someone else to plant a tree.
All these things
and we do them out of love for God and neighbor.
But it all
seems so little,
compared to the great need in our
I take heart from that
where a man on horseback comes along
and sees a chicken in the
middle of the road,
lying on its back with its feet in the air.
hops off his horse,
and asks the chicken what she’s doing.
“I heard that the sky is about to fall, so I’m going to hold it
The horseman laughs at her,
you expect to hold up
the sky with your spindly little bird legs!”
The little chicken looks up at
him and says,
“One does what one
Each of us can do
So we do what we can, just like that chicken,
holding up our
little piece of the sky
as we love one another the way Jesus taught us
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington
Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle,
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006