Chapter 25_ Reaching Out to All Nations - Midwest Theological Forum

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					Chapter 25: Reaching Out
     to All Nations
 UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES
   1. The First Gentile Convert (pp. 446–449)

ANTICIPATORY SET
 
A think / pair / share using the Catechism, no. 3 (p. 456), and the
following question:
 
Why do you possess the Faith today, and how can you best hand it on?
    1. The First Gentile Convert (pp. 446–449)

BASIC QUESTIONS
What was the significance of the Baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch?
Who was Saul?

KEY IDEAS
Led by the Holy Spirit, St. Philip showed the Ethiopian eunuch Jesus
Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, and, when the man asked for
Baptism, the Apostle complied. The Ethiopian, who was barred from
becoming a Jew, was the first Gentile baptized into the Church.
Saul was a superbly educated Pharisee and Roman citizen who zealously
persecuted the Church in Jerusalem.
    1. The First Gentile Convert (pp. 446–449)

FOCUS QUESTIONS
 
Why could the Ethiopian eunuch not have become a Jew?
According to the Book of Deuteronomy, a eunuch can never be part of the
Jewish community because he cannot receive the sign of the covenant:
circumcision (cf. 23: 1).
 
What was the most effective argument the early Christians used to
gain converts?
They showed how Jesus Christ fulfilled the Scriptures.
 
What was the significance of the Baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch?
The Ethiopian eunuch was the first Gentile to be baptized a Christian. He
was—from the Roman point of view—from the farthest part of the known
world, so his Baptism was a sign the Gospel was for the entire world.
  1. The First Gentile Convert (pp. 446–449)

GUIDED EXERCISE
 
Read the Supplementary Reading by St. John
Chrysostom (p. 453).
 
Then discuss the following question:
 
How were both St. Philip and the Ethiopian
eunuch wise men?
   1. The First Gentile Convert (pp. 446–449)

FOCUS QUESTIONS
 
Where was Saul educated?
He received an excellent training in Greek literature and philosophy in
Tarsus and mastered the Scriptures under the most famous of the Pharisees,
Gamaliel.
 
What was Saul’s means of support during his adult life?
He was a tent maker.
 
Why was Saul dreaded by the Christians of Jerusalem?
Saul led squads of Temple guards during the first widespread persecution
of Christians in Jerusalem.
    1. The First Gentile Convert (pp. 446–449)

GUIDED EXERCISE

Work with a partner to identify those qualities St. Paul possessed that gave
him the potential to become a great Apostle.
 
Briefly share responses.
   1. The First Gentile Convert (pp. 446–449)

CLOSURE
 
Free write for five minutes about the remarkable conversion of the
Ethiopian eunuch.
   1. The First Gentile Convert (pp. 446–449)

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
 
Study Questions 1–7 (p. 455)
Practical Exercises 1–2 (p. 455)
Workbook Questions 1–8
Read “Saul’s Conversion” through “The Council of Jerusalem” (pp. 450–
452)
   1. The First Gentile Convert (pp. 446–449)

ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
 
Closing Prayer incorporating Practical Exercise 2 (p. 455).
 
Consider the two questions about vocation asked by the exercise.
   2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

ANTICIPATORY SET
 
The Twelve understood they were to bring the Gospel to the world. They
preached and worked wonders.
 
Do a think / pair / share using the following questions:
 
Do you think the Apostles would have imagined everyone in the world
living the Mosaic Law and sacrificing at the Temple?
Why would they naturally have assumed this?
  2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

BASIC QUESTIONS
What is St. Paul’s conversion story?
How did God show St. Peter that the Gentile Cornelius and his
household should be baptized?
Why was the Council of Jerusalem convened, and what did it decide?

KEY IDEAS
Saul was dramatically converted to the Faith and became an Apostle.
St. Peter’s vision and the giving of the Holy Spirit to Cornelius’
household convinced him Gentiles do not have to become Jews.
Because some Jewish Christians insisted Gentile converts had to follow
the Law, the Council of Jerusalem settled the question; St. Peter’s decision
was endorsed by the Apostles and promulgated by St. James.
   2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

FOCUS QUESTIONS
 
What did Christ mean when he said to Saul, “Why do you persecute
me?” (Acts 9:4)?
Saul was persecuting the Church, the Body of Christ. Therefore, he was
persecuting Christ.
 
Why did St. Ananias argue with Christ?
He was afraid to go to Saul because he was a dangerous man.
 
Why did St. Paul receive death threats?
After his conversion, his zeal for Christ made him the enemy of his former
allies.
   2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

FOCUS QUESTIONS
 
Who was St. Cornelius?
He was a Roman commander and a proselyte of the Gate.
 
What did the voice in the kill and eat vision mean when it said, “What God has
cleansed, you must not call unclean” (Acts 10: 15)?
First, all foods are clean, that is, may be eaten despite dietary regulations of the Law.
Second, if a man has been cleaned in Baptism, he is acceptable.
   2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

FOCUS QUESTIONS
  
How did St. Peter know St. Cornelius and his household should be baptized?
They received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and this convinced him they had the right to
be baptized, too.
Extension: St. Cornelius and his household received the Holy Spirit before they were
baptized.
 
What was the importance of Antioch in the early Church?
It was the greatest center of Christianity outside Jerusalem and where St. Peter was
first bishop.
 
What was the first name used by the followers of Christ, and what name did
they receive in Antioch?
Christ’s followers called their practice The Way. In Antioch they were called Christians.
   2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

FOCUS QUESTIONS
What did the Jewish Christians who came to Antioch claim?
They told the Gentile converts they could not be saved unless they were circumcised
and followed the Law of Moses.
How did St. Paul correct St. Peter?
When some Jewish Christians appeared, St. Peter withdrew from eating with the
Gentile Christians. St. Paul confronted St. Peter publicly and said, “If you, though a Jew,
live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like
Jews?” (Gal 2: 14).
Why did things look bad for St. Paul in the debate about whether Gentiles had
to follow the Old Law to be saved?
St. James the Just was the Head of the Church of Jerusalem and a zealous follower of
the Law.
Why is it remarkable St. James the Just supported St. Peter?
Someone who loved and followed the Law so perfectly was not expected to be
detached enough not to impose it on others.
   2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

GUIDED EXERCISE
 
Work with a partner to analyze in writing the points St. Peter makes in
the Acts of the Apostles 15:7–11.
 
GUIDED EXERCISE
 
Complete a paragraph shrink on the Catechism, no. 781.
   2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

CLOSURE
 
Write a paragraph about which of the Objectives of this lesson is most
important and why.
 
St. Paul’s conversion
St. Peter’s vision and the Baptism of St. Cornelius
The circumcision question and the Council of Jerusalem
  2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
 
Study Questions 8–18 (p. 455)
Practical Exercise 3 (p. 455)
Workbook Questions 9–21
   2. The Conversion of St. Paul (pp. 450–452)

ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
 
Work with a partner, using the following question, to understand the
Catechism, no. 856 (p. 456):
 
Why should Christians try to share the Faith with non‑Christians?
The End

				
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