When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and, falling at his feet, paid him homage.
Peter, however, raised him up saying, “Get up. I myself am also a human being.” Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, “In truth, I see that God shows NO PARTIALITY. Rather, in every nation, whoever fears God and acts uprightly is acceptable to God.” (Acts 10:25ff)
We find ourselves amazed by God’s initiative! The Holy Spirit suddenly comes upon us unannounced and doesn’t follow the prescribed order. Before Peter has a chance to consider the question of baptizing uncircumcised foreigners, the Holy Spirit comes upon these Gentiles, and they begin speaking in tongues. They didn’t have to repent, convert, or be baptized; the Spirit just fell upon them!
I invite you to sit with that for a moment. Doesn’t God like to stretch the way we think? God stretched Cornelius and Peter while they were praying. God stretched everyone listening to Peter’s preaching, and then the whole Church when Peter explained what happened to the other apostles. They and we experience an example of God’s effective love which silences every objection before it is even spoken. Yes, “God has first loved us all” and given us the example, and even the commandment heard in the letter and the gospel of John: thus you are to love one another! Our reasoning does not create God’s goodness. Rather, God is waiting for us to recognize this goodness in ourselves and in our neighbors!
So, what is our response to the Word of God proclaimed to us? We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, our neighbors who stand at the borders awaiting our welcome in love.
Yes, we support compassionate and comprehensive immigration legislation, practice, and policy that provide for justice. We respond in love – why? Because God has loved us and given us the commandment: You Are to Love One Another!