Mass Reading & Meditation for May 1, 2013
Meditation: Acts 15:1-6
Saint Joseph the Worker
The apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter. (Acts 15:6)
Paul and Barnabas headed to Jerusalem with a burning question. Some believers from Judea had come to Antioch, where Paul and Barnabas were leading the Church, and began telling the gentile Christians that they had to be circumcised and adhere to the Mosaic Law if they wanted to be saved.
As you can imagine, this caused a lot of confusion, so the two apostles decided to bring the question before Peter and the other leaders of the Jerusalem church. Together, these apostles would seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
But the apostles and elders didn’t meet just to answer a question about Church policy. Their higher goal was to preserve the unity of the body of Christ. They understood the great treasure they had been given, and they wanted to do everything they could to guard and protect this treasure. They could see that this question of circumcision threatened to split the Church—and it threatened the faith of its newest, most vulnerable members. So they gathered as brothers in the Lord to talk, pray, and listen to the Holy Spirit.
In the course of our lives, we will all face challenges. How vital it is, at these times, that we ask the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us! How vital it is, too, that we stay close to our brothers and sisters in the Lord! You never know what words of wisdom or encouragement they may have for you—words from the Lord himself. Over and over, the stories in the Book of Acts tell us that when we look to the Spirit and cling to each other, God fills us with his life and power.
God uses many ways to lead and guide us, but none of them are more comforting or assuring than when he chooses to speak through a close friend or family member. So take your cue from Paul and Barnabas. Draw close to the Holy Spirit by staying close to your brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Holy Spirit, thank you for promising me your wisdom and strength. Open my ears so that I can hear your voice. Open my heart so that I can trust you more deeply.”
Psalm 122:1-5; John 15:1-8