It is 28th April 2016. The readings are from Acts 15:7-21; and the Gospel from John 15:9-11. The first reading describes what was discussed in the first council of the Church in Jerusalem, which is the model of all our discussions and deliberations in the church. It is the masterpiece of a democratic procedure followed and practiced even today. Everyone had their views to express without forcing or fighting with the other. Having listened to all the viewpoints, the Apostles came to conclude that the salvation comes through the grace of our Lord Jesus not through mere observance of the Law. It is indeed a turning point, breaking away from the Jewish faith and establishing a new set of laws, and traditions for the new born church. The church began to grow rapidly among the non-Jewish people. From now on in the Acts of the Apostles, the concentration is switching on to the ministry of Paul. We too need to express our views in a way honouring the views and guidance of the Holy Spirit expressed through our leaders of the Church. In openness to the Spirit of God and humility to comply will make us grow as a witnessing church. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.” (Ps.95:3). The Gospel reminds us that joy of Christ comes through our love for Christ. The message of love manifested in the Cross brings joy to us. It is not that easy to love like Christ yet we must try our level best because of our constant listening to His words. Only in loving and feeling the presence of Jesus in our lives our joy becomes complete. “So that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.” (Jn.15:11). May the Lord bless you.

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