“The truth I have now come to realise” says Peter to Cornelius and his friends called ‘listeners’. Later in the account we have received, (I am sure our current Pope will highlight that word this weekend) “is that God does not have favourites.” I think further reading of the Acts of the Apostles will indicate that there are many degrees of realisation in Peter’s story, and indeed in our own!
Coming to grips with the gift that Jesus reminds us of in today’s Gospel, “I call you friends” is indeed a lifetime’s work. Being a Godfriend person will mean that as a parent we will love and care for our child; a builder will construct a house according to the specifications; the owner of a business will pay just wages and provide proper working conditions; the employee will provide engaging attitudes to the customer; the Priest will have time for all; and the Bishop will open his heart to all because, like Peter, he has come to realise “God does not have favourites.”
Coming to realise that we have been drawn into a new relationship with our God through no act of our own, nor obtained by any physical force, will take time. Knowing, too, that past or present failures will not be held against us is comforting. All we need to do is to repent and try again. We have been called, and are, friends.
If you can obtain a copy of Pope Francis’s recent letter to us ‘Gaudete et Exsultate’ (Rejoice and be Glad) do so. It will do all our heart good.