Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051817.cfm
After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as he did us. He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.” The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them.
After they had fallen silent, James responded, “My brothers, listen to me. Symeon has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name. The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:
After this I shall return and rebuild the fallen hut of David; from its ruins I shall rebuild it and raise it up again, so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord, even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked. Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things, known from of old.
It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”
The first Church Council! There was much discussion about requiring Gentiles to follow the same laws that the Jews did and they were rightfully upset. The leaders of the Church came together to discuss the question. They did not have a consensus of opinion or a vote. Peter listened, and following the guidance he received from God made the decision. This is still how the Church runs, it is not a democracy, it does not “keep up with the times”. We still follow the laws that God established. What law do you follow? Who do you follow?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for providing us with a leader to follow here on earth. Someone who knows your laws and adheres to your truth. Always be with him, guiding him and revealing your truth. In Jesus’ name, I give you honor, glory and praise, Amen and Alleluia!
Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations, Alleluia!