Sunday Vigil

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 10,44-48

While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit came down on all the listeners. Jewish believers who had accompanied Peter were all astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should be poured out on gentiles too, since they could hear them speaking strange languages and proclaiming the greatness of God. Peter himself then said, 'Could anyone refuse the water of baptism to these people, now they have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?' He then gave orders for them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterwards they begged him to stay on for some days.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Peter’s meeting with the Roman centurion and his family is the first meeting of the Gospel and a pagan family. The meeting was a new Pentecost, no longer in Jerusalem, but in Caesarea. Luke writes, “While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word.” The spirit had fallen upon the pagans too, and the Judeo-Christians who had come with Peter immediately understood what had happened. “The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.” It was a sort of baptism in the Spirit before the baptism with water, a new sign of God’s presence in history that had to be interpreted and accepted. Peter interpreted this sign of God and baptized all who were present, even those were not circumcised; he baptized non-Jews. There in Cornelius’s house the Gospel began to travel along the new road of the pagans; the road that reaches all the way to us; the road that the Lord still asks us to pursue today. The Pentecost of Caesarea is a sign of the many other Pentecosts that need to occur in our days with the men and women of good will that the Lord places on our path.