30 Apr 2012
Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, â€œWhy did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?â€ Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, â€œI was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, â€˜Get up, Peter; kill and eat.â€™ But I replied, â€˜By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.â€™ But a second time the voice answered from heaven, â€˜What God has made clean, you must not call profane.â€™ This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the manâ€™s house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, â€˜Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.â€™ And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, â€˜John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.â€™ If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?â€ When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, â€œThen God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.â€
â€œVery truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.â€ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, â€œVery truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.