Readings and Reflection for Sunday May 22, Sixth Sunday of Easter

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FIRST READING
“It 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 15:1-2.22-29)

In those days: Some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. Then 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 ate 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 an 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.”

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Psalm 67:2-3.5.6 and 8 (R. 4)
R/. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Or: Alleluia

O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your salvation. R/.

Let the nations be glad and shout for joy,
with uprightness you rule the peoples;
you guide the nations on earth. R/.

R/. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Or: Alleluia

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
that all the ends of the earth may revere him. R/.

SECOND READING          
“He showed me the holy city coming down out of heaven.”
A reading from the Book of Revelation (Revelation 21:10-14.22-23)

In the Spirit the angel carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

The word of the Lord

ALLELUIA John 14:23
Alleluia. If a man loves me, he will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him. Alleluia.

GOSPEL            
“The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 14:23-29)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. “These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you. ’If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION
The assurance of the coming of the Holy Spirit guarantees the continuation of the salvific work of Christ. The implication is that to fulfill our Christian obligations we are to be open to the Holy Spirit’s working. The Holy Spirit dwells in us and our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. It means God lives in us through the power of the Holy Spirit; therefore our thoughts, words and actions must be worthy of the divine presence in us. Also, we must comport ourselves with the dignity proper to the citizens of heaven. This heavenly city has an apostolic foundation. The church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, is built on the same apostolic foundation. This apostolic foundation guarantees apostolic succession, which guarantees the sacrament of Holy Orders (the catholic priesthood) and guarantees the valid celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

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