Scripture: Lectionary 286. Acts 14:19-28. Psalm 145:10-11.12-13. 21. John
Jesus continues to call us to be disciples of love. His final discourse is
to be taken seriously by all who call themselves disciples of the Lord. We
are instructed by Jesus so that we know that he loves the Father and does
as the Father commands him. (John 14:31). He does not ask us to do what he
himself has not done. His commandments are commandments of love and peace.
We are never given hardships that we cannot endure with the help of Jesus'
love and that of the Father and the Spirit. We are to love one another and
to find support in times of trial and suffering. His peace will reign in
our hearts when we love as he has commanded us.
In Acts we read how Paul suffered because of his love and witness to Jesus.
He was doing the commandments of love and was stoned almost to death
because of his ardent love of the Lord. He and Barnabas are persecuted. As
Paul lie unconscious, his brother believers surround him and he comes back
to them fully alive and ready to move on to preach the Good News to those
who will listen. The place where the name Christian was first used is
Antioch and it there that he returns again and again to gain strength from
the community of believers. We hear him, Barnabas and the others saying, "
We must undergo many trials if we are to enter into the reign of God." This
is the instruction we hear from them as we listen carefully to Luke's Acts
today. We then become and are today's disciples, believers, and those who
witness to Jesus as Lord. We do this because of the commandments of love we
have learned from Jesus. We receive the same consolation and have the same
courageous boldness to witness to Jesus our Lord and Savior. Our Psalm
response for the day can be a help to remember today's readings: "Your
friends tell the glory of y our kingship, Lord."
May we be confident in our accepting the hardships we may have to endure
and be thankful for the graces of love and peace that Jesus speaks of today
in our Gospel reading. Amen. Alleluiah!
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