6th May 2021.
BEARERS OF GOD’S LOVE IN THE WORLD
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listen to the word of God, we are called to be the bearers of God’s love in the world. This is the commandment that the Lord has given us, and the mission which He has entrusted to each one of us. Those whom we encounter should experience God's love through us.
The first reading speaks of the First council of Jerusalem which was convened by Peter to address the disagreements among the members of the Church. Some of the issues that brought disagreements were circumcision, worship of idols, eating meat from strangled animals, unlawful marriages etc. The imposition of Jewish customs to the gentiles posed threats to the division of the early church. Paul and Barnabas too protested the efforts to impose the strict discipline of the Jewish laws and customs to non-Jewish people.
They discerned and prayed over the matter, Peter with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit revealed the decision of the Apostles and the Council. He reminded them of the true meaning of being a follower of Jesus Christ.
Peter reminded the assembled faithful how they should not be burdened by the great weight of the Jewish laws and customs, the traditions and rules, many of which the Jews themselves were unable to fulfil and follow, because they were burdensome, excessive and unnecessary in following Jesus.
Instead, we are reminded of the most important commandment that the Lord has given to all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, that is the commandments of love as we heard it in our Gospel reading today. Those who belong to the Lord ought to love Him and keep His commandments of love. They should remain in His love, by their own loving ways and actions. That is the true mark and identity of what being Christian is, and that is what we should be doing in our lives as well. This means that we should avoid living without genuine love and commitment towards the Lord.
In our world today there is often too little love and too much hatred, bitterness and negativity. We easily turn against each other and focus too much on our own selfish desires, which lead us to cause hurt and pain, suffering and difficulties to others. That is not how Christians should live, therefore, we should not let ourselves be tempted to act in this manner either. We should instead be the inspirations and examples to others on how to love one another, and how God’s love and truth are visible in us and our actions.
We have to be careful not to impose on people practices which are not central to faith. We should also be flexible enough to embrace the principle of mutual tolerance in decision making. This brings harmony and joy in serving God. The joy that Jesus wishes to all people in the whole world. May the Lord be with us all and may He give us all the strength and courage to live ever more faithfully, that in all things we may follow Him ever more zealously, and that we may inspire one another to remain true to God, to His love and truth. Amen.
I wish you all a blessed day.