St. Peter in today’s reading ended up eating with “outsiders,” accepting food the Law considered tainted, and baptized non-circumcised gentiles!!!! He was clearly moved by the Spirit to move beyond traditions that needed to be let go of. He said these beautiful words, “Who was I to hinder God?” In response to those who became indignant that he changed tradition.
How do I/you hinder God? By refusing to change how we see God, the Church, the world. We hinder God by limiting His range of mercy or forgiveness. We hinder God by clinging to comforts and possessions. We hinder God by not praying and studying the Bible, His Revelation. We hinder God when we judge harshly those who fail or sin. Self righteous attitudes are the greatest hindrance to God, since they elevate self importance.
God is always ready to surprise us by inspiring us to think and act in ways we aren’t accustomed to. Peter became free to do just this: to move beyond established patterns of behavior. Let us not hinder God. Maybe we can surprise God by doing the unexpected.