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(Part 109)


May 13, 2019
Today’s reading: Acts 11:1-18

In the incident where Peter explained to the brethren about the baptism of Cornelius and his household, we learn a number of things.

First, the Holy Spirit is the agent of evangelization, who empowers us to be witnesses to Jesus. As such, we need to be filled with the Spirit and be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit. When three men appeared and summoned Peter, he readily went along, saying, “The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating.” (v.12a). The Holy Spirit guides and directs the mission.

Second, we see the importance of the proclamation of the gospel. This is the kerygma. Faith comes from hearing. Cornelius had summoned Peter, saying that it was he “who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.” (v.14). The gospel is about salvation in Jesus, which is why Jesus came into the world, and won this salvation for us on the cross. But the way we appropriate that salvation for ourselves is when we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. For that to happen, we need to hear the good news and believe.

Third, since God’s intent is salvation, triggered by the proclamation of the good news of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is just waiting for disciples to preach this gospel, so that He can come down upon people. Peter testified, “As I began to speak, the holy Spirit fell upon them as it had upon us at the beginning” (v.15). The Holy Spirit is impatient to touch and fill God’s people! Peter had just began speaking! All that is needed are proclaimers of the gospel. With that trigger, the Holy Spirit will do His work, and “you will be baptized with the holy Spirit.” (v.16c).

Now we in CFC-FFL have received the baptism in the Spirit (as adults apart from the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation). We are supposed to become witnesses to Jesus. We are evangelizers and missionaries. We are holy warriors. God intends for us to proclaim the gospel, but many times we do not share the gift we have been given. Peter asked the rhetorical question, “If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” (v.17).

Unfortunately, we do hinder God, in different ways.

  • When we do not evangelize as we should. Though every Catholic is supposed to evangelize, this is especially for us in CFC-FFL, as we are an evangelistic and missionary community.
  • When we do not fully understand and appreciate the workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our work. We then fail to be guided and led by the Spirit. We fail to take on the empowerment by the Spirit.
  • When we cannot grasp the ever-creative ways of the Spirit, just as the Jews confronted Peter for eating what was considered unclean and proclaiming the gospel to the Gentiles. This is the case with failure to understand and accept LCSC, which is the new wineskin for the new wine of the Spirit intended for this third millennium. Some people prefer to follow their own preferences and remain in their comfort zones rather than embark on a new adventure with the Spirit of God.

With the Holy Spirit, we take on the heart of God and the mind of our Master Jesus. As we become docile to the Holy Spirit, we will be able to do rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization, as we fully realize, “God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.” (v.18b).

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