Today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles describes the transformation of Peter’s heart as he receives what would have been an unsettling vision in a dream and then interprets the dream through his interactions with gentiles later that day. The Holy Spirit is clearly at work in helping this pious Jew to recognize the surprising ways that God will work through Christians in the new era of faith following the death and resurrection of Jesus. Now that Jesus is revealed as the gateway to union with the Father, all those who follow him will interpret both their dreams and the interactions they have with those they meet in the light of the Holy Spirit. The descending of the Holy Spirit in these graced moments of Peter’s resting and rising ultimately serves to win new disciples for the Christian church and invites these new gentile converts to join Peter in his entering ever more fully into the gateway to the Father that Jesus reveals himself to be.
The Acts of the Apostles is full of incidents where a Christian disciple encounters the Holy Spirit at work in the life of the early Church, and this transformation continues down through the centuries even to our present day. May we imitate Peter in paying attention to our dreams and the needs of our brothers and sisters in asking for help or religious instruction, that we too might find ourselves filled with the Holy Spirit as we return to the Father through Jesus.