Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 28, A.D. 2005
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
"All this I tell you that my joy may be yours
and your joy may be complete." (John 15:11)
One of the most difficult things we are called to do is to accept change.
This is seen in our First Reading when Peter is faced with former Pharisees
who converted to Christ but who wanted to incorporate into Christianity
certain practices imposed by Judaism. In particular, they saw circumcision
as a necessity because it was once a sign that the Jews had been consecrated
to God, set apart from the world to be His own special and holy people.
Peter tells them they must not put unnecessary burdens on converts because
God goes beyond external signs by reading and acting directly upon men's
hearts. Salvation results from genuine faith in Jesus for both Jews and
Gentiles; and "believers" will be imbued with God's Holy Spirit to
strengthen and guide them in God's ways.
In John's Gospel Jesus defines what true faith requires. A disciple is to
learn to love with the same self-sacrificing love that originates in God
made visible to us in Christ. Jesus foretells His own destiny when He says
there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. He
implies that our love has a genuinely divine source when we are consumed by
a desire to keep God's commandments. There is one question, however, that we
should ask ourselves: are we obeying God's Word for the sake of our
appearing to the world as holy people or to inflate our own self-esteem by
presenting ourselves to God as shining little examples? It is pride like
that of the Pharisees who condemned Jesus, that slavishly follows rules
which do not prompt human hearts to increasingly be filled by God's love and
the same self-giving humility of Christ.
O Precious Lord, bring us to the realization that the fullness of human joy
can only be complete through obedience to the grace that unites us to You in
heart, mind and will. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, ocds
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)
Lives of the saints:
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
St. Peter Chanel, priest and martyr
St. Louis Marie de Montfort, priest
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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