Acts 9:26-31

26 And when he had come to Jerusalem he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 

27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.28 So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem,29 preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists; but they were seeking to kill him.30 And when the brethren knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him off to Tarsus. 

31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was built up; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit it was multiplied. 

1 John 3:18-24

18 Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. 

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him 

20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God;22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.24 All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us. 

John 15:1-8

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.2 Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.3 You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you.4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.6 If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.


THE FIRST READING: In consideration of Pauls history, he gets the cold shoulder when he is introduced to the disciples which necessitated that Barnabas his sponsor and assigned catechist present him to the Apostolic leadership to attest and confirm the virtues moral efficacy of Paul’s  candidacy. This sponsorship Tradition for candidates who desire to be received into the Church or who is called to the Consecrated ministries is still practiced by the Church today. To be sure some questionable adult candidates did sneak through their discernment process that has led to the scandals in the church throughout history. 

Of Course each disciple receive God’s efficacious free gift of grace that is ordered to transform hearts and minds into the image of Christ Jesus, however we have been given a free will to say yes or no to the proddings of the Holy Spirit to keep to the commandments and abide in Christ Jesus!

St JOHN’S EPISTLE seeks to remind the people of God that their actions must line up, be truthful and in accord with their words. Our belief in Christ is predicated on our having a clean heart which is a metaphor of a clear conscience wherein the Holy Spirit shall guide us into all truth. The Protesting reformationist Fr Martin Luther’s metaphor that God buries our sin under a pile of snow contradict the word of God. Moreover sin that is covered up will manifest and resurface unless we continuously and sincerely repent and seperate ourselves from the occasion to sin. 

St JOHN’S GOSPEL metaphorically presents our Lord as a vinedresser who prunes the vine with the spoken word of God so it may take root in the conscience and heart of man. Ministers of the word are exhorted by our Lord to not sugarcoat their preaching with feel good toe-tapping dancing homilies and music that cover the “worshippers” sinful lives with snow! Truth must be proclaimed to convict man’s conscience- we need to hear what we ordinarily do not want to hear from loved ones who wills our good.Infected branches of the vine must be cut off and severed from the vine failing which the vine tree will wither and die a slow death! 

We are called to proof our discipleship (discipline) hence our Lord made provision for our shortcomings and recklessness to clean up our act in the confessional and seek to be reconciled (Jn 20:23; 2 Cor 4:1) to Him to bear good fruit to glorify our heavenly Father.It is true that some sins require deep cleaning that may take much pruning and will require some time,hence our Lord shall forgive the sincere penitent seventy times seven times (Mt 18:21-22) until we are completely cured from our afflictions!

LET US PRAY: Psalms 22:26-28,30-31

26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live for ever! 

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.28 For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. 

30 Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation, 

31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, that he has wrought it.    Henry R SYLVESTER              

Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

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