Bible Diary English

May 20, 2022

First Reading: Acts 15:22-31
Psalm: Ps 57:8-9, 10 & 12
I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.    
  Jn 15:12-17

Fri: Easter Weekday/ Bernardine of Siena, p, r, ms

Acts 15: 22-31/ Ps 57: 8-9. 10 and 12/ Jn 15: 12-17

1st Reading: Acts 15:22-31
Then the apostles and elders, together with the whole Church, decided to choose representatives from among them, to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. These were Judas, known as Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They took with them the following letter:
“Greetings from the apostles and elders, your brothers, to the believers of non-Jewish birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We have heard, that some persons from among us have worried you with their discussions, and troubled your peace of mind. They were not appointed by us. But now, it has seemed right to us, in an assembly, to choose representatives, and to send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. We send you, then, Judas and Silas, who, themselves, will give you these instructions by word of mouth.
We, with the Holy Spirit, have decided not to put any other burden on you except what is necessary: You are to abstain from blood; from the meat of strangled animals; and from prohibited marriages. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”
After saying good-bye, the messengers went to Antioch, where they assembled the community and handed them the letter. When they read the news, all were delighted with the encouragement it gave them.

Responsorial Psalm; Ps 57:8-9, 10 & 12
I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.

Gospel: Jn 15:12-17
This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you! There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends, if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants anymore, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead, I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.
You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
This is my command, that you love one another.





What is Necessary
For a couple of days, we have been listening to the deliberations of the Jerusalem Council to resolve the issue of circumcision of the non-Jewish converts. What followed was a historic and extraordinary decision not to enforce the age-old Jewish practice of circumcision on the converts. The rationale of the decision was “not to put any other burden” on God’s faithful “except what is necessary.” And, what is necessary? The gospel has the answer: Love alone is necessary. Anything contrary to love is a burden and must be cast off. In the recent years, there have been much debate, threatening even to cause ideological splits, on account of some papal applications of mercy into matters related to marriage and family. We shall be careful not to turn the canon law into a bad news about the good news. Love alone shall be the final criterion.