In today’s Gospel reading from John 10, we hear Jesus say, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” What is the abundant life about which Jesus speaks? Too often we think of abundance as money or possessions. WRONG! In fact, those things can actually lead away from the abundant life. I believe that the abundant life which Jesus gives is a life filled with love, joy and peace. And you can’t buy those anywhere.
In the first reading today from Acts 11, Peter is called on the carpet by Jewish believers for eating with Gentiles, the uncircumcised. Peter then goes on to tell them about a vision he had. He learns in his vision that God offers the same gift of salvation to Jew and Gentile alike. Upon this realization, Peter asks the question, “Who was I to be able to hinder God?” This caused the Jewish believers to cry out, “God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.”
Hindering God. An interesting concept, no? Can we hinder God? I believe the answer is yes. In fact, looking back, I can think of many times where I may have hindered God. Both in my own life, and in the lives of others. It usually happens during those times when I am most selfish. I want things to turn out my way. Heck, I never even bothered to ask God about what He wanted. Perhaps if we spend more time being attentive to God, we’ll be less of a hindrance to Him.
Father, forgive us for those times when we hinder you. Help to always be open to your will in our lives, and in the lives of others. Amen.