As I learn about the different things in the Bible, you are learning right along with me! So, this morning I wanted to clarify the difference between a Jew, a Gentile and a Christian. Basically, being Jewish is a matter of birth. A Christian is anyone who is reborn into the belief in Jesus Christ. A Gentile is pretty much everyone else.
It would seem in Biblical times people were hung up on staying within one's own religious community. Their beliefs were so strong that they would view others not of their faith as "unclean". This doesn't mean they didn't shower or wear clean clothes. They were considered morally impure. It is much like when we see Jesus sitting with those who were lepers, prostitutes, and unbelievers. Why would He lower Himself like that? So, when Peter was confronted by the Jews, they were not very happy with him. This was an affront to Jewish law.
How could he dine with immoral people? Such barbarians! Peter then explained to them how he had had a vision and in that vision, he was told that any creature created by God was not unclean or unworthy. This was an irrefutable argument. Chalk one up for Peter!
The sheep and the shepherd are back again, but this time Jesus compares Himself to the gate of the pasture. He is the one who keeps the sheep in place. It's much like when we first come to Jesus. We open the gate of our soul to Him. We allow Him to come into our lives. We know that He will not harm or deceive us. We come to Him willingly. Think of it this way, the beginning of the 23rd Psalm.. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." The Psalm is all about the peace of God, of knowing we will be fulfilled by Him. He will give us rest, nourishment and everlasting life.
Sorry, this is so brief. I'm still feeling under the weather and a little fuzzy-headed. Hopefully, I will be feeling better soon. Remember to always remain a nice human. 😇
Father Bill gives us a deeper understanding of today's readings:
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