While more and more warships gather around North Korea, while more and more nuclear rocket tests are carried out in the country - we let us contemplate the real counter-force of ultimate divisions. We must be transformed by Divine Light and not by the ‘daily good news’ of our media. Otherwise, we will end up as reincarnations of clinical mistrust. The stake is being marked by grace or by the constantly haunting image of the ‘enemy’.
‘And as Peter talked with him [Cornelius], he went in, and found many that were come together.’ The Jewish Peter enters a ‘forbidden’ house. The Gentiles were separated from the Jewry by Mosaic laws. Here we can contemplate the nature of grace. God’s Presence is always about ‘going in’. ‘You know that it is unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.’ God goes in. God makes us go in. God is about connecting borders.
And a joint conversation between Jews and pagans begins. The nature of the Holy Spirit (‘Grace’) is to create a new community. ‘While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.’ Soon, in the early church, these two groups shall be eating together as one community. Sharing the same sacrificial meal, the Eucharist, which is unprecedented in the logic of their ‘old’ respective traditions.
The Baptism of pagans is the most significant event in the life of the nascent Church. In this deed of Peter we can indeed contemplate the connecting nature of grace. In it, we can recognise – and practice - the unity of the human family. Do not let this healing vision be suspended between the weaponry of the ‘two camps’. The question is, which energy explodes first, Divine or human?
Activity - Music to look up on youtube: Joseph Haydn, Piano Trio Hob.xv:f1 in F minor
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..