Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: May 5. Lectionary # 287. Acts 15:1-6. Psalm 122:1-2,3-4,4-5.
Our Psalm Response for today is an excellent one for the background of our
first reading. We are approaching what we could consider the first
ecumenical council of the Church and have it as narrated by the Evangelist
Luke who is giving us his rendition of that first meeting that takes place
in the holy city of Jerusalem. Luke has collected the facts and now will
narrate the meeting soon to take place. It will concern the issue of the
requirements that the Gentiles should have as members of the community of
believers in Jesus. Should they as some of the converted priests and
Pharisees think that the Mosaic laws should be observed by them especially
the ritual of circumcision. Paul and Barnabas will address the issues to
the elders and to the apostles in Jerusalem and its leader St.James the
Less. We can catch the joy and enthusiasm of Paul and Barnabas through the
Psalm chosen for today.
In today's Gospel Jesus is showing his disciples (and we are now among
them) how important it is to remain in him by our believing and trusting in
him and what he has told us and done for us. The Evangelist tells us
through the revelatory words of Jesus that he is the vine and we are the
branches. The Father is the vinegrower. The prolonged metaphor of the vine
and the branches helps us to picture what Jesus is telling us about our
intimacy with him. Purification is necessary at times. He will prune away
all that is barren and the branches that are drying up. We can imagine he
means our selfishness, our jealousy of others, our anger and need to
control the ones we love, etc.etc. After such care we are definitely a
healthy branch; we are his disciples who bear much fruit in and through our
work, our relationships, and our ministry and prayer. This is how we are
to live our life in union with Christ, the Word of God. Amen. Alleluia.
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