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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Cornelius the Centurion.

Our Lord, of course, was Jewish. Some felt that the Christ had come to the Jews alone and that one must first become a Jew in order to become a Christian. Cornelius was a Gentile and a centurion (an officer in the Roman Army) stationed at Caesarea. He was widely respected among the Jews, not only because of his important position but also because he gave liberally to the poor and "honored God as they did."¯ He was called "upright and God-fearing."¯ He learned of Jesus Christ from the Apostle Peter, received the Holy Spirit, and was baptized.

It was Cornelius' profession of faith that led Peter to exclaim, "God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean"¦God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."¯ Perhaps the testimony of Cornelius would be helpful to those in our own time who see Christianity as a purely cultural thing. He is a fitting patron for the career soldier.

May we, like Cornelius, be ready to hear the Good News and to respond with our whole being. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

O God, by your Spirit you called Cornelius the Centurion to be the first Christian among the Gentiles: Grant to your Church such a ready will to go where you send and to do what you command, that under your guidance it may welcome all who turn to you in love and faith, and proclaim the Gospel to all nations; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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