“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1b)
There is a song by War entitled, “Why can’t we be friends?”
As soon as I began reading the first reading for today’s Mass, that song began playing in my mind.
In the passage from the Acts of the Apostles, we are reminded about demands being made upon Gentile converts. They were being forced to adopt Judaic practices when they converted to Christianity even though they were not becoming Jewish.
They grumbled about that. Greatly. And for good reason.
After all, why should they become Jewish in order to become Christian?
It was because their Jewish-turned-Christian brethren still saw themselves in light of their culture. They could not accept “outsiders” unless those outsiders first adopted their cultural practices.
Upon reflection, they realized that they were wrong.
It seems that we, too, place so many demands upon people in our lives, many times, unreasonably so.
Do people really need to become exact copies of us in order to associate with us, in order for us to do business with them, in order to become our friends?
Instead of placing unnecessary burdens on others, let us be open to the great gift that they are.
After all, they, like we, were created in the image and likeness of God.
How can that be wrong?
FAITH ACTION: Who is out of your life now because of your — perhaps unreasonable — demands? Can you make an effort today to reconcile?