“It has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 15:22-31)
In those days: It seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole Church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, with the following letter: “The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greeting. Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, it has seemed good to us in assembly to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. And when they read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 57:8-9.10- 12 (R. 10a)
R/. I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples.
My heart is ready, O God;
my heart is ready.
I will sing, I will sing your praise.
Awake, my soul!
Awake, lyre and harp!
I will awake the dawn. R.
I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples,
among the nations sing psalms to you,
for your mercy reaches to the heavens,
and your truth to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
may your glory shine on all the earth! R.
ALLELUIA John 15:15b
Alleluia. I have called you friends, says the Lord, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. Alleluia.
“This I command you, to love one another.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 15:12-17)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
By his very nature, a human person is a ‘community being’ living in solidarity with others who blossoms only when he is intimately connected with God. This is again stressed in the first reading. As the Council of Jerusalem draws to an end, the apostles write admonishing the disciples to avoid immortality and idolatry and to live according to the principles of Christ. Who in Himself transcends all cultural barriers. Living by those resolutions, the disciples become friends of Christ, chosen and commissioned to go out and bear good fruit. May our heavenly Father grant us the grace to live in love and for love!