Archive for April 30, 2016

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Posted: April 30, 2016 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Counsel of Jerusalem: 
Scott Hahn Reflects on the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Readings:

Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23
John 14:23-29

The first Church council, the Council of Jerusalem we hear about in today’s First Reading, decided the shape of the Church as we know it.

Some Jewish Christians had wanted Gentile converts to be circumcised and obey all the complex ritual and purity laws of the Jews.

The council called this a heresy, again showing us that the Church in the divine plan is meant to be a worldwide family of God, no longer a covenant with just one nation.

Today’s Liturgy gives us a profound meditation on the nature and meaning of the Church.

The Church is One, as we see in the First Reading: “the Apostles [bishops] and presbyters [priests], in agreement with the whole Church [laity].”

The Church is Holy, taught and guided by the Spirit that Jesus promises the Apostles in the Gospel.

The Church is Catholic, or universal, making known God’s ways of salvation to all peoples, ruling all in equity, as we sing in today’s Psalm.

And the Church, as John sees in the Second Reading, is Apostolic – founded on the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

All these marks of the Church are underscored in the story of the council.

Notice that everybody, including Paul, looks to “Jerusalem [and] …the Apostles” to decide the Church’s true teaching. The Apostles, too, presume that Christian teachers need a “mandate from us.”

And we see the Spirit guiding the Apostles in all truth. Notice how they describe their ruling: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us.”

Knowing these truths about the Church, our hearts should never be troubled. The Liturgy’s message today is that the Church is the Lord’s, watched over and guarded by the Advocate, the Holy Spirit sent by the Father in the name of the Son.

This should fill us with confidence, free us to worship with exultation, inspire us to rededicate our lives to His Name – to love Jesus in our keeping of His Word, to rejoice that He and the Father in the Spirit have made their dwelling with us.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: April 30, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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What do we stand to gain if we have the whole world but forfeit our souls?

The soul of a disciple of Jesus is one that bears the heart and mind of the Master he serves, his friend. Both are not of this World. And though a disciple lives in the world his sight is set on the Kingdom to come.

So on his pilgrim journey home he takes on the yoke of Christ his Master serving his brethren with joy. He does whatever is  necessary even if it means  personal sacrifice, to bring the message of God’s love made visible by Christ to all.

Jesus my Lord and Saviour, through You I can call out Abba to whom I love and worship. Help me be Holy and one with You. Amen

First reading
Acts 16:1-10

From Cilicia Paul went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra. Here there was a disciple called Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess who had become a believer; but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy, and Paul, who wanted to have him as a travelling companion, had him circumcised. This was on account of the Jews in the locality where everyone knew his father was a Greek.

  As they visited one town after another, they passed on the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with instructions to respect them.

  So the churches grew strong in the faith, as well as growing daily in numbers.

  They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, having been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia. When they reached the frontier of Mysia they thought to cross it into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.

  One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and appealed to him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’ Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the Good News.

Gospel
John 15:18-21

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you.

If you belonged to the world,
the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice withdrew you from the world, therefore the world hates you.

Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.

If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well.

But it will be on my account that they will do all this, because they do not know the one who sent me.’