Acts 15:7-21

7 And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.8 And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us; 

9 and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith.10 Now therefore why do you make trial of God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 

11 But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” 

12 And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 

13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brethren, listen to me.14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written,16 ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up,17 that the rest of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, 

18 says the Lord, who has made these things known from of old.

’19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,20 but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood.21 For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every sabbath in the synagogues.” 

John 15:9-11

9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.


St LUKE describes the first official Church Council meeting to deliberate an epoch-making doctrinal matter that arose in Antioch. Peter allowed a generous amount of time for members of the assembly who were in the main Hebrew and Jewish, to convey their thoughts whether gentiles are required to be circumcised which was an obligatory OT covenant ritual that “saved” (Acts 15:1) God’s people. The refusal to effectuate this OT ritual was punishable by death by God. Ex 4:25-26 Peter begins to enumerate how God’s “grace” in proportion to “faith”  save the believer and make us members of the body of Christ. Baptism is the NT sacramental observance (1Pt 3:20-21) that clears the conscience of man brought about by Christs resurrection from the dead. Peter conclude that baptism nullifies the “yoke” of circumcision!

A pregnant silence permeated the room after Simon Peter’s doctrinal declaration! The Church Father St John Chrysostom archbishop of Constantinople (347-407AD) had this to say about the atmosphere at the Council meeting: “Then all the multitude kept silence…(Acts 15:12) There was no arrogance in the Church. After Peter Paul speaks, and none silences him: James waits patiently, not starts up (for the next word). Great the orderliness (of the proceedings). No word speaks John here, no word the other Apostles, but held their peace, for James was invested with the chief rule, and think it no hardship. So clean was their soul from love of glory. And after that they had held their peace, James answered…Acts 15:13 (b) Peter indeed spoke more strongly, but James here more mildly: for thus it behooves one in high authority, to leave what is unpleasant for others to say, while he himself appears in the milder part.” This was to be the first of twenty two Ecumenical Church Councils that deliberated doctrinal matters of faith and belief over two thousand years.

THE GOSPEL OF ST JOHN records a joyful and poignant moment when our Lord makes it known that His love for the Apostles is coequal with the Fathers love of Him! Christ emphasize that the joy of His love for us shall continue if our lives are lived in accordance with the beatitudes.Mt 5:1ff

Catec 1718 “The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it…1719 The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This vocation is addressed to each individual personally, but also to the Church as a whole, the new people made up of those who have accepted the promise and live from it in faith.”

LET US PRAY: Psalms 96:1-3,10

1 O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! 

2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 

3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 

10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”    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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