“Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi
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“Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Messiah already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.”
The apostle Peter was addressing many of the people who had rejected Jesus resulting in his crucifixion.
Of course, Peter was also one who rejected Jesus, very famously denying he knew him three times.
But in today’s passage, Peter is riding high on the forgiveness he received from the risen Christ.
He seems to be a changed person.
That’s what forgiveness will do: transform you.
Peter tells the people to repent, meaning change your direction.
Turn back to the God of unconditional love.
Allow God’s forgiveness to bring you refreshment.
Note the amazing statement Peter then makes about “the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.”
This is the key point.
Life in this realm is not a private quest to make it to heaven one day.
It’s not “our personal salvation project” as Thomas Merton put it.
Salvation is of God’s doing.
You might say that the Love that made us is hell-bent on making us whole!
This includes everyone and everything.
That’s because God is in everything.
As St. Paul said, in God we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28)
Jesus said that we would one day realize that he is in God and “you are in me and I in you” (John 14:20).
This should help us understand how Jesus can command us to love our enemies!
Take a deep breath.
Receive the gift of Life and Love that is totally free and given without condition.
Heaven is available right now for those willing to receive it and share it.
All are welcome!
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Remember: God loves you!