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May 20 - Acts 15: 22-31

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordMay 20, 2022
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today's other readings are Psalm 57 and John 15: 12-17

The decision made at the very first Council (or synod) in Jerusalem considered whether or not full church membership be offered to the Gentile communities being evangelized by missionaries such as Paul and Barnabas.  After listening with discerning and prayerful hearts to the various points of view presented, the consensus of Council, led by the apostle James, the first bishop of Jerusalem, was that Gentiles did not need to be circumcised but should follow some basic dietary and moral rules in order to be welcomed into the church.

What is truly noteworthy about the Council of Jerusalem was the confidence of the “whole church” that God was with them and that their decisions were reached by “us and the Holy Spirit,” with an outpouring of confidence and joy. This story of trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit to guide the church is a perfect one for us to prepare for coming of the great feast of Pentecost on the first weekend of June.  

Veni, Sancte Spiritus!