Acts 15:1-6

1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 

2 And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, reporting the conversion of the Gentiles, and they gave great joy to all the brethren.4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.5 But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up, and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses.”6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 

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: Some self appointed ‘teachers’ appeared to have granted themselves the authority to decide that circumcision is the necesary means of how a Christian is saved. It is very apparent that the community knew otherwise, because Peter had already attested that a believer is saved through baptism, hence their appeal to Paul and Barnabas to take the matter for consideration to the Magisterium in Jerusalem! Notably, notwithstanding Paul’s theological genius, he and Barnabas did not even bother to theologise the matter, but honoured the local Church’s request  to “appoint” a delegation to present the matter to the leadership of the Church in Jerusalem for consideration.

Today’s reading typifies the ‘modus operandi’ that the Apostolic leaders followed to decide matters that our Lord did not explicitly teach. What is very apparent is that a NT canon (bible) was not in existence to ‘fact check’ or interpret, however our Lord established a Magisterium to deliberate matters of salvation and morals and to dogmatize their findings for man’s salvation.

St JOHN THE APOSTLE continues the discourse of our Lord whereby He refers to Himself as a vinedresser. You and I are the offshoots of the vine that emanated from our baptism whereby we became children of the Father.It is logical that the offshoot of a main branch receive its life giving food from the vine that is well grounded in fertile soil. 

Catec 409 “The whole of man’s history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God’s grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.”

Baptism is the normative means whereby the Holy Spirit guides us to conform to the will of the Father. To be sure,we have the free will to consider God’s invitation to remain embedded (abide) in Him or to reject Him! 

LET US PRAY: Psalms 122:1-5

1 A Song of Ascents. Of David. 

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!” 

2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!3 Jerusalem, built as a city which is bound firmly together, 

4 to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. 

5 There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.    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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