Sixth Sunday Easter - Year B
Cornelius the Centurion
A noncom in the Roman Army was the first official convert from a pagan religion to Christianity. His name was Cornelius and he was a centurion. His rank was roughly equivalent to that of a Master Sergeant in a modern Army. Centurions were in charge of a group of 100 men, also known as a "Century". It's interesting to note that all of the centurions mentioned in the New Testament were all compassionate and friendly people. Jesus said that the centurion in Caphernaum had more faith than any of the people of Israel.
Cornelius' duty was especially important because he commanded the Century in Caesarea, the Roman headquarters of Israel. He had heard about the teachings of Jesus and invited Peter to visit his home. As a result of the apostles' message, Cornelius and his whole family converted.
I Chose You
In today's gospel, Jesus reminds us of an important part of faith. Some Christians place a great emphasis on the fact that THEY chose Jesus as their savior. But our Lord reminds us, that HE made the choice, not us. All that we can do is simply to be grateful for this one-sided decision and respond with love. We show our response by the loving acts that we practice. The gospel is not about choosing, it is about being chosen. Along with this choice comes the duty of loving others as Jesus loves them.
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