Readings and Reflection for May 19, Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter


“My judgement is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 15:7-21)

In those days: After there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to the apostles and the elders, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us; and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you make trial of God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brethren, listen to me. Symeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written, ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, that the rest of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who has made these things known from of old.’ Therefore my judgement is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood. For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every sabbath in the synagogues.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Psalm 96: 1-2a.2b-3.10 (R. see 3)
R/. Tell among all the peoples the wonders of the Lord.
Or:  Alleluia.

O sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
O sing to the Lord; bless his name. R/.

Proclaim his salvation day by day.
Tell among the nations his glory,
and his wonders among all the peoples. R/.

R/. Tell among all the peoples the wonders of the Lord.
Or:  Alleluia.

Say to the nations, “The Lord is king.”
The world he made firm in its place;
he will judge the peoples in fairness. R/.

ALLELUIA John 10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.

“Abide in my love, that your joy may be full.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 15:9-11)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Our lord Jesus is indeed the fulfillment of the law. This peter acknowledges at the council of Jerusalem; and that we are saved by grace and not by circumcision. James reaffirms what peter says and delivers the decision of the council of Jerusalem. In this narrative, we see the pre-eminence of peter as the head of the college of Apostles, a role still carried on today by pope Francis as the successor of peter, through the unbroken cord of Apostolic succession. Obviously it is an enormous responsibility to be the head of the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. As faithful of the church, we must continue to pray for the Pope and all church leaders for the grace of final perseverance, and commit them daily to the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of the church and queen of the apostles.


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