Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
May 21, A.D. 2006
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
1 John 4:7-10
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
In today's readings, the Holy Spirit sends shockwaves to the apostolic leadership. Just when some consensus to Jesus’ message of salvation for the Jews has been achieved, the Holy Spirit hits them with a thunderbolt of new teaching. Peter has a noonday trance that disturbs him. A heavenly agent forbids him to call any food unclean that God has made clean!
Cornelius, a pagan, is likewise visited by an angel who commands him to summon Peter. Through the resulting encounter, Peter is convinced that the message of salvation he thought applied only to Jews, is meant also for non-Jews. This does not go over well with many Jews back in Jerusalem. Salvation was no longer an exclusive prerogative for the Chosen People. Now, all are chosen! The community peace is shattered!
What saves the new Church? That other “shocker” — the command to love one another “as I have loved you.” Love is the “glue” that holds the community together, not just then but now.
Two thousand years of trial and error has not made any easier this fundamental teaching of our faith. Love! Just think of what dynamic transformation there would be in our world society, if all Christians really loved one another! When the Holy Spirit asks us if we like the idea of love, we respond enthusiastically. But even though the Lord has actually commanded us to love, we balk, make all kinds of excuses and compromises. Yet, the meaning is clear. God loves us unconditionally, and we will never measure up to Jesus’ command until we are able to love in the same manner.
What can we do?
We can beg the Holy Spirit daily to flow into us more freely so that we will produce better fruit. Like good fruit, love is tantalizing, appealing, and truly irresistible. There is no power on earth stronger than love. It will ultimately silence critics, win over those who are hostile to the Church, and bring all nations and peoples to the salvation for which Christ died and rose again. May we stretch our love to embrace more of our brothers and sisters this week.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(smartins at frontiernet dot net)
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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