Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 23, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Trust the Church!
You probably have had the experience of being told by an ardent friend or family member that this devotion or this religious practice or these gestures and postures are the correct ones. "Follow them!"
And, you may even have had someone else, equally devout, tell you that a different devotion, a different practice or even contrary gestures and postures are the correct ones. If you have had this experience on a small scale, you can appreciate the first reading, Acts 15:1-6.
Those who had come down from Judea insisted that the Mosaic practice of circumcision had to be included in the conversion for Gentiles; otherwise, they would not be saved. Now, these are not evil men out to undermine the early church. They are determined men who had reached a conclusion and were sticking to it. On the other side of the debate will be those who hold firmly that baptism alone is what is needed.
The solution the local church decided on was to send Paul, Barnabas and some others to Jerusalem where the early church was still centered. On the journey they taught and they told of the acceptance of the Gospel by the Gentiles. It was a cause of rejoicing and great joy. This is a lesson: to look at the fruit, and even when there is legitimate controversy to spread the good news. Be inclined to joy.
It says here in Acts, that the "apostles and the presbyters met together about this matter." As the subsequent passages will tell us, the early Church comes to a conclusion rejecting this proposal. The Holy Spirit has worked with the Apostles and presbytersí discernment.
We should be inclined by them to submit to the Church which has wisely organized itself so that local matters are dealt with locally, then diocesan-wide for the most part by the Bishop, and of course, matters for the universal Church by Synods and other forms of expression of the College of Bishops in unity with the Pope, the Universal Shepherd and Teacher.
Jesus makes it clear in the Gospel, John 15:1-8, that you cannot live apart from Him. Tend to your relationship with Him and His Body the Church; tend to unity and the charity that bears good fruit.
- Fr. Stephen Gratto |
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
St. George, martyr
St. Adalbert, bishop and martyr
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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