READINGS for 2006-05-18
?I have told you this that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete?. ? John 15: 11
In my real estate business, weekends are the busiest and most important days in our work calendar. These are the days when the new recruits training are scheduled and site orientations and ocular visits are done. This particular weekend became an occasion for me to choose between work or serving relatives.
Thank You, Lord, for the joy only You can give.
Whatever we might think of the process as reported here in the Acts of the Apostles, it is clear that there were acknowledged lines of authority in the Church even in this early stage. I tend to think that Jesus would have prepared the apostles somewhat while still with them, but I am equally as sure that they probably learned a lot from the very human means of trial and error! The discussions were probably a lot more impassioned than we hear in this account. This would be far more in keeping with our human nature than a simple ordered discussion.
7 After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, ?My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. 10 Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.? 12 The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them. 13 After they had fallen silent, James responded, ?My brothers, listen to me. 14 Symeon has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name. 15 The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written: 16 ?After this I shall return and rebuild the fallen hut of David; from its ruins I shall rebuild it and raise it up again, 17 so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord, even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked. Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things, 18 known from of old.? 19 It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. 21 For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.?
P S A L M
Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 10
R: Proclaim God?s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. 2 Sing to the LORD; bless his name. (R) Announce his salvation, day after day. 3 Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (R) 10 Say among the nations the LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity. (R)
The Church?s clear lines of authority are here presented to us in that the decision of the ?Mother Church? is communicated to other centers of the Christian faith. It is important for faithfulness to Jesus that our doctrine and discipline be a single witness to the Gospel, otherwise, there is a danger that contradictions will develop in the life of the Church as a whole. Lord, help the work of ecumenism in our day so that the Christian witness might be united as one throughout the whole world.
9 ?As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father?s commandments and remain in his love. 11 ?I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.?
God?s special verse/thought for me today________________
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Job 33-36
JUST AS THE FATHER LOVES ME
?Love? is a word so worn out today. Everyone uses it in varying degrees and with different nuances. One who is captured by romance uses it. While another uses it to enslave someone with emotional baggage. ?Love? ranges from fuzzy feelings to lust to self-effacing sacrifice. Jesus doesn?t use the world lightly. Perhaps because we?ve been so used to the word ?love? it has become elusive, vague and we end up unsure of what it really means. When Jesus said that he loves us as the Father loves him, He is speaking concretely and he is speaking with an exact meaning. More than the concern and providence He has for us, the love of God means, first and foremost, ?presence.? The Father loves Jesus through His presence. We could hear Jesus, almost excitedly proclaiming: ?I am in the Father and the Father is in me? He who sees me sees the Father? The Father and I are one.?
Father, I have heard that you love me but at times my head doesn?t resonate with my heart. Father, minister your presence into my heart and let me be convicted of that love that burns in your heart for me. Thank you. Amen.
St. John I, pope martyr, pray for us.
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