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Rough Cuts | If you’re afraid of the future, then…

Today is Sunday the 26th of May 2019. It is the last Sunday of the month and is the 6th Sunday of Easter.

The Psalm for the day is, “O God, let all the nations praise you!

The 1st Reading today is from Acts 15:1-2, 22-29. It says:

Some persons, who had come from Judea to Antioch, were teaching the brothers in this way, “Unless you are circumcised, according to the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Because of this, there was trouble; and Paul and Barnabas had fierce arguments with them. For Paul told the people to remain as they were, when they became believers. Finally, those who had come from Jerusalem suggested that Paul and Barnabas and some others go up to Jerusalem, to discuss the matter with the apostles and elders.

The apostles and elders, together with the whole Church, decided to choose representatives from among them, to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. These were Judas, known as Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They took with them the following letter:

“Greetings from the apostles and elders, your brothers, to the believers of non-Jewish birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We have heard that some persons from among us have worried you with their discussions, and troubled your peace of mind. They were not appointed by us. But now, it has seemed right to us, in an assembly, to choose representatives, and to send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. We send you, then, Judas and Silas, who, themselves, will give you these instructions by word of mouth.

We, with the Holy Spirit, have decided not to put any other burden on you except what is necessary: You are to abstain from blood; from the meat of strangled animals; and from prohibited marriages. If you keep yourself from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

The 2nd Reading of the day is from Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23.

He took me up, in a spiritual vision, to a very high mountain, and he showed me the Holy City Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, from God. It shines with the Glory of God, like a precious jewel, with the color of crystal-clear jasper.

Its wall, large and high, has twelve gates; stationed at them are twelve angels. Over the gates are written the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. Three gates face the east; three gates face the north; three gates face the south and three face the west. The city wall stands on twelve foundation stones, on which are written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God, Master of the universe, and the Lamb, are themselves its temple. The city has no need of the light of the sun or the moon, since God’s glory is its light and the Lamb is its lamp.

This Sunday’s Gospel is from John 14:23-29.

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my words and my Father will love him; and we will come to him and live with him. But if anyone does not love me, he will not keep my words; and these words that you hear are not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.

I told you all this while I am still with you. From now on the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I have told you.

Peace be with you! My peace I give to you; not as the world gives peace do I give it to you. Do not be troubled! Do not be afraid! You heard me say, ‘I am going away, but I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

I have told you this now before it takes place, so that when it does happen you may believe.

READ: Loving Jesus is not possible without keeping his words. Jesus demands obedient love. Jesus, as he bids goodbye assures those who love and keep his words of the Holy Spirit. They will know him more and his teachings. The Holy Spirit will enlighten them. They will also possess the peace which only God can give. They should not be afraid.

REFLECT: Are you always afraid of the future? If you have no peace of mind, it may be an indication that you do not love Jesus at all or keep his words. Jesus is present in the poor and the needy. Jesus identifies himself with them. They are all over the place. Loving Jesus is showing solidarity with them.

NB: Our heartfelt thanks to the Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc., publisher of the book Bible Diary 2019 from where we are sourcing the Words of God that we are sharing every Sunday with our fellow faithful.

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