During the second half of the Easter Season several of the weekday readings from the Acts of the Apostles tell of the early Church’s hesitancy to admit Gentiles. That’s understandable enough, for the Jews had a history of being the Chosen People. Even Peter was reluctant to accept Gentiles until his vision of the sheet containing animals, birds and reptiles and being told “Take and eat!” The Spirit told Peter to not discriminate against anyone. After that, Peter would debate that “God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the world of the Gospel and believe,” and Peter proclaimed that God wanted “no distinction between us and them” (Acts 15).
Our Western culture’s mindset is dualistic; it’s either-or; things are right or they are wrong; people are on the right or on the left. This phenomenon describing Western thought patterns Cynthia Bourgeault in her book The Wisdom Jesus calls the “egoic operating system.”
As we strive to let go of our ego, we have more chance of seeing another thought pattern, of understanding another point of view, of creating unity and building community. When we “lose ourselves,” abandoning our silos, we gain access to numerous benefit that comes from community.